Christmas Tree Lane: Homeowners clone commemorative first tree

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Saturday, December 24, 2022
Christmas Tree Lane: Homeowners clone commemorative first tree
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It's a tree that started decades of tradition for families across the Valley.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As Fresno's famed Christmas Tree Lane celebrates 100 years, a Fig Garden homeowner is gifting his neighbors a piece of the lane's legacy.

It's a tree that started decades of tradition for families across the Valley.

"The first tree is something that made everything happen," said Dean Alexander, the chairman of Christmas Tree Lane.

A Deodar cedar was first lit in 1920 to honor the life of a Fresno High freshman who once lived in the home.

Every year since his passing, a nearly two mile stretch of Van Ness transforms into what we know as Christmas Tree Lane.

"When you drive down the lane, you have places where trees are not making it, trees are falling over," Alexander explained.

An arborist deemed the commemorative first tree to be in "serious decline" in 2020.

So, homeowners Greg and Dana Pratt found a way to honor the legacy of the lane by connecting its past with its future.

"He had specialists come out and they took pieces of the tree and they cloned them," Alexander said. "He loves the neighborhood and it's just a great gift."

Using a product called Quantum Growth from Agro Natural Sciences, 150 new growth clippings from the tree were sent to a nursery in Oregon to be cloned.

Two years later,100 successfully cloned trees are now housed in Belmont Nursery.

"It makes me warm my heart just knowing were going to have those trees on the lane," said Alexander. "We'll have additional trees, but we'll have replacements also."

The Pratts are gifting the clones to those living along the lane to replace any trees that need to come down or for those looking to add to their property.

"Christmas Tree Lane is because of that tree and being able to have the other trees that are identical to that tree is very special," Alexander explained.

The clones will be planted by the Fig Garden Home Owners Association Legacy Tree team.