Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


'Perfect' Christmas tree pinched


The Grinch visited Delta Western last weekend, cutting down the Sitka spruce that had been groomed for eight years to be the company’s Christmas tree.

Fred Gray, manager of local distributor Delta Western, said the tree at the intersection of Main Street and Spruce Grove Road was scheduled to be decorated on Saturday but disappeared sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning.

“It had just gotten to the perfect height... It was the perfect Christmas tree,” Gray said in an interview Monday.

Gray said he had been pruning the tree for the past eight years to sculpt it into the ideal, conical Christmas-tree shape. Noting the tree’s ideal structure, admirers had asked in the past if they could cut it down. Gray said no.

“Since it has been cut, everybody has said they wanted to cut it, too, but they knew it was on our property so they didn’t cut it,” he said.

All that remains on the property’s corner is a sad-looking stump with three branches splayed out of it.

Norm Hughes, who saw the crime scene, said it looked like the tree had been cut with a saw or chain saw.

Gray said while he is upset about the theft, he realizes dwelling on it isn’t going to solve the mystery. “What are you going to do? I’m going to wait eight more years because something will grow out of it.”

“If they needed it that bad, they are welcome to it,” Gray said. He didn’t report the incident to police.