Nova Scotia

Boston Christmas tree gift felled in Pictou County, heading south

A group gathered in Lorne, N.S., for the traditional Christmas tree felling that dates back to the province thanking Boston for help following the Halifax Explosion.

72-year-old white spruce will be making the 1000-km trip to the Boston Common

The Christmas tree is cut by staff and students from the environmental technologies program at NSCC. (NovaScotia.ca)

A busload of schoolchildren gathered in Lorne, N.S., today as crews felled a 15-metre Christmas tree that will be a gift from Nova Scotia to Boston.

Bill and Andrea MacEachern of Pictou County donated the 72-year-old white spruce, the latest in a long time of Christmas trees sent south. 

It's part of an annual tradition dating back to 1918. 

In the aftermath of the 1917 Halifax Explosion, which killed about 2,000 people and injured thousands, Boston was quick to send medical personnel and supplies.

As a thank you, Halifax sent Boston a Christmas tree the following year. In 1971, the Lunenburg County Christmas Tree Producers Association revived the gift and began an annual tradition to promote Christmas tree exports.

The white spruce was chopped down, wrapped up and loaded onto a truck for its 1000-kilometre trip to the Boston Common. (Brett Ruskin/CBC)

Bill MacEachern has particular connection to Boston. He completed the Boston Marathon in 1996 and finished in the top five per cent. 

This year's tree will be paying a visit to St. Stephen's Elementary School in Halifax Wednesday morning and there will be a ceremonial public send-off in Grand Parade square at 11:30 a.m.

The tree will travel from Pictou County to Boston and is expected to arrive on Nov. 20. There will be a tree lighting ceremony in the Boston Common on Dec. 3. 

People interested in following the evergreen's journey to New England can follow along on Twitter

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