Birmingham's artificial Christmas tree sparks debate, criticism

City of Birmingham spends $30,000 on 35-foot-tall artificial tree because real tree has seen better days

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. - Standing 35 feet tall and decorated with more than 22,000 lights, Birmingham has welcomed a new tree to Shain Park for the holiday season.

But the tree is a fake. Apparently the real tree the city used to use did not look good enough.

The debate among residents is whether the tree is tacky or trendy. Birmingham traded in the traditional, real Christmas tree for the artificial blue spruce, stirring up mixed emotions.

Some say the tree is much nicer than the old, real one. Moreover, others say they would rather an artificial tree be used to spare moving a real tree.

Besides the vanity debate, Birmingham forked over $30,000 for the fake tree, which is sparking some criticism. Is it worth the money?

The city plans to keep the artificial tree for 10 years. There is hope that by that time another tree in Shain Park will have grown large enough to serve as the city's official Christmas tree.

-- Old, real tree in Shain Park

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