SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A lot of trees came down in Tuesday night’s storm but one of those trees was a piece of history. The massive spruce which has stood outside the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe for decades is no more. While no one seems to know for sure how long it’s been there, it’s something everyone knows and will miss.
The tree that stood tall and proud in front of the Santa Fe Cathedral for decades came crashing down Wednesday morning. “I came down here this morning and, quite frankly, I’m shocked the tree was enormous,” said resident Feliz Skamser Zonca.
The tree was a piece of history that will be missed dearly. “One guy drove by earlier today and he said it’s been there since I was a kid and I said it’s been there since your grandparents were kids,” said Zonca.
On Wednesday, the once-mighty giant was reduced to pieces. “This was a very beloved tree. It was the Christmas Tree for a lot of people in the town. They would come and see it around Christmas time. It was just decorated three days ago for Christmas,” said Fr. Tim Martinez, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.
A viewer says she saw the tree just hours before it came down and will cherish the memory. It’s a sad day for everyone who knew and loved the tree but they are also giving thanks. The two statues that stand in front of the cathedral were unscathed. “I think it’s a miracle that it’s coming down without damaging the two sculptures thinking those guys must have been good guys. It fell exactly in the middle only about a foot to spare from the trunk on both sides,” Martinez said.
The tree will live in a new way. The church’s landscaper says the greenery and branches will be used for holiday decorations and the bigger pieces of the trunk will be shared with local artists to give it new life. “If I had to say something about what it means is that God is in charge,” said Martinez.
Some estimate the tree has been there for more than 80 years. The priest said that the landscaper did have to save it from disease about five to six years ago. He says they will have to decide what to do in the area where the tree once stood.