April 1, 2023

Thirty-three years ago, Siegfried Janssen planted a five-foot blue spruce in the front yard of his Kitchener, Ont., home with the help of his wife, Alma.  Little did they know that, one day, it would become the centrepiece of Kitchener’s annual Christkindl market.

“We got tired of not being able to see out our front window,”  said Alma Janssen. “It got too tall for our house so we thought why not give it to the Christkindl market.” she added.

Kitchener residents have been donating trees to the Christkindl market for more than 20 years. Each year, residents who would like to donate a tree inform the city; it then sends out a team to inspect the tree to see if it meets the criteria.

The tree must be about 30 feet tall, healthy and have a full shape.  The city has a preference for blue spruce. In addition, other factors, such as accessibility and the proximity to overhead wires, are assessed.

Once the tree has been selected and the cutting day has arrived, a specially contracted crane takes the weight of the tree after it has been cut, and loads it onto a flatbed trailer to be towed to Kitchener’s city hall.  Once there, the crane lifts the tree into position while the workers secure the tree to the building with a support pole and tree base.

Generally, the entire process takes about four hours from start to finish, but on this especially cold and blustery day, the crews managed to finish the job a little quicker than usual, with the tree standing proudly before noon.

All photos below by Darick Charbonneau, Spoke News

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