Donated Tree Will Light Up Louisville, Friday, Nov. 26


by Kelsey Starks

Posted on November 12, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 13 at 3:01 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky (WHAS11) - A 45-foot-tall blue spruce tree will light up Louisville in two weeks.  Friday, it was cut down from Thelma and Ben Alley’s yard on Southern Parkway and transported to Jefferson Square Park for the city’s Light up Louisville event.

“It’s not going to be a Charlie Brown tree,” promises Thelma Alley.  “It’s going to be beautiful!”

The thick spruce came down – or up – Friday morning.  The Metro Parks Forestry Division cut it at the base with a chainsaw and then lifted it by crane onto a tractor-trailer that transported it on its side to downtown Louisville.

The Alley family says the tree was growing too large for their front yard and they are looking forward to seeing it all lit up because they were never able to decorate it for the holidays.

“That’s what we’re anxious to see, when it’s all lit up,” Thelma said.

The tree was originally planted by William Knapper and his son, Alan, when they lived in the house in the 1950s. 

“It was about a foot tall when we planted it,” Alan Knapper remembered.  “We didn’t think it was going to survive, but it just kept alive.  When we moved out it was about 6-feet-tall.  I drove by when I moved back and I couldn’t believe how big it had gotten.  It boggles my mind.”

Alan says he believes the tree is about 50-years-old.

“When they said it was going to be used for Light up Louisville, it really hit home,” he said.  “This is, indeed, the circle of life.”

The tree will be the centerpiece for the city’s “Light up Louisville” event Friday, November 26th.  This is the 30th year for Light up Louisville, sponsored by GE and LG&E.  About 70,000 people attended last year’s light up event.