City crews work to cut down a 40-foot blue spruce from the front yard of Phil Homerski’s home at 4 Cedar St., in Waterdown on Nov. 12. The tree was donated to the city to be the Christmas tree at Hamilton City Hall. – Phil Homerski photo
40-foot blue spruce donated by Waterdown’s Homerski family
The Christmas tree at Hamilton city hall has roots in Waterdown — or it used to, at least.
The 40-foot blue spruce was cut from the front yard of Phil Homerski’s 4 Cedar St. home in Waterdown Nov. 12.
Homerski, whose mother Sheila planted the tree in the early 1970s, said it is a fitting end for the tree.
“It’s a tree that has been growing by leaps and bounds over the years,” he said. “It was really taking over the front lawn to a considerable degree.”
“We’ve seen it grow over the years and become a beautiful tree.” — Phil Homerski
“We knew at some point we’d have to take it down and wanted to do something that would give it a little bit more of a nice send-off than waiting for it to die off and having to remove it.”
Homerski said a couple of years ago he had put the family’s name forward to the city to donate the tree. Then, “out of the blue,” in early November, he got a call from the City of Hamilton asking if he was still interested in donating the tree.
“The rest is history,” he said.
Homerski said the process of cutting the tree took close to three hours, noting it was a very efficient job. He added the process involved craning the tree over surrounding power lines, onto the flat bed truck which brought the spruce to city hall.
“It was an excellent job.”
However, Homerski admitted it was difficult to see the tree cut down.
“It’s been in our family for years,” he said. “This was actually my parents first home here in Canada.
“We’ve seen it grow over the years and become a beautiful tree.”
Homerski said the family plans to visit the tree at city hall.
“I’ve got two sisters, as well, who still live in the area,” he said. “So, with their kids and our kids, we’ll all go down there and get a nice photograph with all of us in front of the decorated tree.”
Homerski, the newly elected Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board trustee for Wards 12 and 13, said the family plans to replace the tree with another — but one he said might be more sensible for the front yard.
“I’ve already talked to the city about their street tree program,” he said. “Probably in the spring we’ll make some decisions on what kind of a tree we’d like to have there.”
About the Author
By Mac Christie
Mac Christie is a reporter with the Flamborough Review.