New York State Holiday Tree arrives at the Capitol

empireplazaholidaytree

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – You know the holidays are on the way when there is a beautiful pine tree standing tall in the Empire State Plaza.

Tree owner Mike Bowman said he had waited eight years to share his Colorado blue spruce and on Monday he gets his chance to share it with the people of New York State.

“When I moved here in 1993, the first thing I wanted to do was plant a tree,” Bowman said.

Bowman says planted this Colorado blue spruce outside his Claverack home when it was just 6 feet tall.

“[I] decorated it every Christmas with the lights and everything like that.”

The tree grew and grew and grew.

Mike says 10 years ago was the last time he dated decorated it.

“I climbed all the way to the top about 30 feet on a ladder, shaking with a hook on it to get the last lights up on the top,” Bowman said. “I went down to plug it in and the plug was at the TOP! That’s the last time it was lit.”

Without the lights, the stately pine appeared naked during the holidays, and that’s when Mike says he began entering the tree for consideration as New York State’s holiday tree.

“We look for big bushy trees and that’s exactly what we got on this Colorado spruce here,” Heather Groll, of the New York Office of General Services said.

Friends, family, and Mike watched as a team from the OGS cut the tree at its base, a ceremonial cutting given to him.

The Department of Transportation took overhauling the massive tree from Columbia County to Albany to its final stop at Empire State Plaza.

“Everybody says aren’t you going to miss the tree? I guess yeah, we will in a way. But, it’s past its time it’s served us well. It’s time for it to go to the Capitol and for everyone to celebrate.”

The tree lighting will take place on December 4.

The NEW10 ABC morning team will be there and Christina, Ryan, Nicol, and Nick will be emceeing the ceremony. Be sure to stop by and say hello.

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