Vail’s evergreen trees get a break |

Vail’s evergreen trees get a break

Daily staff report

VAIL — When the town-strung holiday lights made their traditional debut in the roundabouts this season, there was something different.

Instead of glowing branches on the spruce and fir trees, the trunks of surrounding aspen trees this season serve as the foundation for the colorful palette.

Rick Gregory, the town’s heavy equipment operator who coordinates the holiday decorating, said the change this season will give the evergreens a much needed break.

Renewed Growth and Regeneration

The town’s practice of meticulously wrapping each tree to create a spectacular visual effect requires a lighting schedule that incorporates giving all of the affected trees a respite for renewed growth and regeneration.

In all, about 80 aspen trees are lit in the town center roundabouts this season, which is significantly more than in the past.

These are decorated with white, red, orange, blue, green and pink LED lights creating a rainbow effect, while lighting for the West Vail roundabout is being retained from last season as part of a two-year rotation.

In the Villages

In Vail Village, “Jerry’s Tree,” the spruce used for the annual tree-lighting ceremony and named for former President Gerald R. Ford, is decorated with the traditional multi-colored display, as is the Sunbird Plaza tree in Lionshead Village. Elsewhere, a mix of pine, aspen and crab-apple trees have been strategically identified for decorating as part of the town’s annual light display.

An interview Gregory did on local radio station KZYR is available on the town’s website.