Caelan Pelletier of Lewiston Public Works drives up a one-way street Nov. 17, 2021, to get the city’s Christmas tree safely to Dufresne Plaza in Lewiston. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal file

Christmas may still be two months away, but Lewiston and Auburn are already on the hunt for the perfect tree for the holiday season.

Both cities are looking for an evergreen, such as spruce, preferably about 25 to 30 feet tall, within the city limits. The tree must be in an area that can be accessed by trucks and equipment. Donated trees are removed and transported free of charge to the owner.

“We won’t be decking any halls or jingling any bells this year without a Christmas tree,” Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline said. “I am hopeful that a resident who cherishes the Yuletide season as much as I do will step forward with the required spruce.”

Lewiston city arborist Steve Murch points to a good spot to tie a line Nov. 17, 2021, while helping cut Lewiston’s Christmas tree from the side of Bartlett Street in Lewiston. Murch estimated that the 44-foot tree weighed 4,300 pounds. The actual weight came in at 3,000 pounds. “I can’t believe I was wrong,” he said. “That’s the first time this week.” Daryn Slover/Sun Journal file

The city’s official Christmas tree will light up Dufresne Plaza at 72 Lisbon St. until the end of January, Lewiston’s community relations coordinator, Dottie Perham-Whittier, said in a news release this month.

“Without a local tree available, the backup plan will be to call my hometown mayor and request a Christmas cactus,” Sheline — who hails from Arizona — said in an email to the Sun Journal.

Over in Auburn, the annual tree lighting festival Dec. 3 will serve as the official start to Auburn’s first European-style Christmas market.


“We are so excited about this holiday season, mostly because this will be the inaugural year for our Christmas Shopping Village in Festival Plaza,” Liz Allen, Auburn’s director of communications and community engagement, said Friday.

“We will have seven adorable shops set up in custom sheds, where local vendors will be selling their unique and delightful products and items during the month of December,” she said. “The Christmas tree will be at the heart of our Christmas Village, so we’re really hoping for an extra special tree this year.

“The tree donation is always a deeply meaningful gift to our community,” Allen said.

Every year, the cities’ public works and arborist crews carefully remove, transport, install — and decorate — the trees.

“We are really proud to help prepare downtown Auburn for the holidays each year and the Christmas tree is one of our favorite parts,” Scott Holland, the city’s deputy director of public works, said.

Auburn’s Christmas tree is hoisted onto a truck Nov. 11, 2019, at the home of Kate Cornelio in New Auburn. The 20-year-old evergreen was planted by the city after the previous tree was cut down to make way for utility work. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal file

According to Auburn’s records, the city has been requesting donated trees since at least 2002.


Two years ago, Auburn’s “absolutely breathtaking tree” was nearly felled by some gusty winds.

“The day we decided to install (the tree), it was just a bit windy and the ever-important top section snapped right off as we were lifting it up with the crane,” Allen said. “Well, our amazing arborists were able to ‘repair’ it and in the end, it looked like it never happened.”

“Nice try, 2020,” she added.

Last November, Lewiston crews carefully cut down a 44-foot blue spruce near the bottom of Bartlett Hill and delivered it on a trailer bed to Dufresne Plaza.

The 27-year-old tree weighed in at a whopping 3,000 pounds and was the first tree since 2012 to come from somewhere other than Kennedy Park.

City arborist Steve Murch told the Sun Journal at the time that work crews had kept an eye on that particular tree for some 24 years, knowing that one day it would make the perfect tree for Lewiston’s official holiday celebrations.

Lewiston residents interested in donating a tree should contact Murch at [email protected] or 207-513-3003, ext. 3443.

Auburn residents interested in donating a tree can nominate theirs at The submission deadline is Friday, Oct. 28.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.