A unique Christmas tree, gone without warning

Published: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 10:31 AM.

Does a Christmas tree have to be a perfect cone? Does it have to look like any other Christmas tree anywhere?

Apalachicola had a unique, living tree that served as the downtown Christmas tree for more than a quarter century. It was part of Apalachicola’s special character. Suddenly, without warning or discussion, it is gone.

Perhaps there were some problems with this tree. Was it really “diseased?” Was it interfering with the irrigation system? Was it in danger of starting a fire at the electrical box? Was it too large to decorate? Whatever evidence there may have been for any of these claims is gone.

The tree was transplanted by Mr. Joyner. Back in the mid-1980s, he and his wife had a small plant nursery on the corner of Fifth Street and Avenue G, across from where Johnson’s Store used to be. There is a house built there now. He was a gifted gardener. He could make anything grow, even transplant a mature tree.

It seems important to me that we remember and honor those who have gone before – especially humble people like Mr. Joyner.

It is interesting for me to have reached the time in life when those who have come after set about destroying the accomplishments of those who have gone before.

I hope there will be a new tree planted, that lives and develops its own unique shape, to become as special as the old one was.

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