Gene has lived in the area for the past 70 years and planted a sapling 40 years ago outside his house on Thunderbird Drive, local police said in a social media post Tuesday.
The department noted his son brought the sapling home on Arbor Day. It has since grown to be about 40 feet tall, to the delight of residents.
According to Canopy.org, a tree’s first five years of life are critical while it is growing. Young trees must be watered, pruned, and cared for to help them be healthy for years to come, and Gene’s tree appears to have been cared for meticulously for many years.
“Gene has had a dream of having lights placed on this tree for decades and finally his dream was made a reality from the help of others:-) Donations were made for lighting and for the first time ever the tree was decorated and lit!” the agency said of the tree that is decorated for Christmas with what appears to be an angel on top:
Meanwhile, the department said Gene was overwhelmed when he saw the sparkling tree decorated for the season for the first time since it was planted.
“Thank you for doing this! What an awesome gesture of love and compassion. So happy his dream came true,” another person replied.
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