OB’s Christmas Tree Has an ‘Afterlife’

by on January 14, 2022 · 1 comment

in Ocean Beach

By Tyler Faurot / Pt Loma-OB Monthly /

For 41 consecutive years, the shores of Ocean Beach have been the backdrop to a gargantuan pine tree, decorated and lighted to commemorate the holiday season. Historically, once the holidays came to an end, many of the trees were carried away to landfills for an unceremonious demise. In recent years, however, the holiday trees have been given new life as sought-after crafting material for local woodworkers.

The tree for the 2021 holiday season was a star pine donated from the yard of Ocean Beach resident Catrina Russel. The tree began its life as an unassuming sapling, first planted on Russel’s property in the 1990s, shortly before she moved to the community. “The sapling was only as big as me,” Russel recalled.

But as time went by, the sapling grew into an unruly behemoth. The pine developed a dramatic curve along the trunk and began to arch forebodingly over a neighbor’s house, its roots lifting up the sidewalk on Russel’s street. “We knew it needed to go, but we thought it was a perfect OB tree,” Russel said.

Russel’s tree was a candidate for the holiday centerpiece for three years but was a runner-up to other trees. Russel credits the removal of the fence in her front yard, making for easier removal of the tree, as the deciding factor in its selection as the 2021 holiday tree.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kate Bell January 15, 2022 at 6:36 am

Love the beautiful pics and the idea of repurposing the wood to a piece of art.


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