St. Wendel Parish donates Christmas tree to City of Evansville

By The Message staff

Father Ed Schnur, pastor of St. Wendel Parish, had an idea. After he saw a video on the City of Evansville’s Facebook page of Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke asking for help in finding the city’s official Christmas tree for 2023, Father Ed thought, why not the 32-foot Norway spruce on St. Wendel’s grounds? 

Father Ed posted a photo of the tree in the Facebook comments, and a short time later, he said the City of Evansville’s arborist, Shawn Dickerson, contacted him and visited to look at the tree.

“He was impressed with the tree,” Father Ed said. “He said it's definitely one of the best trees he's seen. He said the shape is perfect all the way around.”

Father Ed said the tree was getting too large for the space where it was located.

“From the records I can find, it was most likely planted in 2001 or thereabouts,” he said. “This makes the tree over 20 years old.”

There was easy access to the tree, Father Ed explained, and no power lines to contend with when removing it. The tree was cut and transported to the Civic Center in downtown Evansville the week of Nov. 6. A team from Sterling Industrial cut down the tree, Father Ed said, used a crane to place it on a flatbed truck, transport, and set it in place at the Civic Center.

“We will plant a four-foot Colorado blue spruce tree in its place, which we have ready to plant,” Father Ed said. “This blue spruce was purchased at the St. Wendel Social Live Auction and donated. The timing was good.”