Omaha’s official Christmas tree cut down, taken to Durham Museum

Omaha Christmas Tree cut down Nov. 16, 2020
Omaha Christmas Tree cut down Nov. 16, 2020(Emily Dwire)
Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 12:37 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The sound of a chainsaw filled the air Monday morning in a neighborhood near 132nd and Harrison. That’s where workers with Union Pacific cut down a 40-foot tall blue spruce tree that will be decorated and displayed at the Durham Museum. The tree will serve as the centerpiece of the museum’s Christmas at Union Station celebration.

It’s part of a long-standing tradition dating back to the 1930s. Decades ago, Union Pacific would harvest a tree from the pacific northwest and bring it on a train to Union Station, which is now the Durham Museum. It’s a tradition the museum is happy to continue and why Union Pacific workers still harvest the Omaha tree each year.

This year’s tree was chosen from about 30 across the Omaha metro. Leaders with the museum went out and looked at each tree before choosing the blue spruce in Jason and Fallon Ross’s front yard.

The couple submitted their tree in 2018 but it wasn’t tall enough then. They’re happy it was chosen this year. Jason Ross says he’d rather donate the tree to a good cause than pay thousands of dollars to have it removed. But they won’t completely be rid of it. Fallon Ross says they saved pieces of the stump and plan to make end tables out of the wood.

The couple has another large tree in their front yard and they plan to submit that one next year.

Once the tree arrives at the museum this year it will take crews a few days to decorate it. A lighting ceremony is set for Thanksgiving night but because of the pandemic, it will be virtual. People tuning in will also hear music and see a greeting from Santa.

And that’s not the only change.

“We are doing timed ticketing at the museum so in order to see the tree once it’s up, just go online or call the museum and book your ticket in advance,” said Jessica Brummer with the Durham Museum. “That allows us to control the crowds that are coming in to see it.”

And once it is up and decorated, the Ross’s will go see it for themselves. Jason and Fallon’s 4-year old son Harlan watched as the crews cut down the tree in his front yard. He can’t wait to see the final product.

“It’s gonna have lights on it and a star on top of it," Harlan said, with a big smile on his face.

For more information on the virtual ceremony, and all the events at the Durham Museum, you can visit the museum’s website or Facebook page.

Copyright 2020 WOWT. All rights reserved.