Commons' Christmas tree will have room to grow

For the most part, I like the way the new parks look next to the Lithia Motors headquarters. They'll probably look a lot better when the trees grow up. I particularly like the lights they put in the trees for the holiday season.

My question is why is the Christmas tree so small? For a $14 million project, shouldn't we get a tree that is at least twice that big? This one is so puny looking that I'm not sure I'd even want it in my living room.

— Ken F., Medford

Well, for starters, Ken, at 16 feet, this tree is taller than most living room ceilings. Then again, maybe you have a particularly big living room.

When the second park in The Commons was being discussed, it was proposed that a "large" fir tree would be planted on the north end next to Fourth Street. In considering the tree, city officials said they balanced the need for size with survivability.

Essentially, the bigger the tree, the bigger the chance it wouldn't survive a transplant. The city attempted to find a tree that was tall enough to provide the look of a Christmas tree, but one that wouldn't end up looking like those trees on their way to the landfill in early January.

Fortunately, December is a good time of year to transplant trees. You may have noticed, Medford is pretty hot in the summer. Trees that are planted along sidewalks sometimes die shortly after the transplant during the hotter seasons.

All good things come to those who wait, Ken, and in a few years, that "puny" tree in the park will be quite large — likely even too large for your living room!

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to

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