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A Rocklin man and his tree try to save Lodi’s holiday festivities

By: Lauren Gibbs, The Placer Herald
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A Rocklin man’s tree was the second attempt at finding a centerpiece for the city of Lodi’s Parade of Lights event. Dave Bowman of Rocklin donated his 50-foot Redwood to Lodi after a portion of the city’s original tree was sliced off while in transit from a tree farm in Foresthill to Lodi. Unfortunately, Bowman’s tree was not salvageable. According to the Lodi News-Sentinel, Lodi is in search of its third Christmas tree. The Lodi News-Sentinel reported that a 28-foot White Fir tree, reserved by the Downtown Lodi Business Partnership last year and to be displayed in Lodi for the annual Parade of Lights, was planned to be delivered Nov. 22. The delivery was delayed by snowstorms and the tree stopped in Auburn. That evening, as the tree sat on a trailer near Interstate 80, an unknown suspect chopped off the top 10 feet of the tree. The news of the event left Bowman interested in finding a way to help. With a tall Redwood growing in his front yard, Bowman got in touch with Jamie Watts, executive director of the Downtown Lodi Business Partnership with an offer she couldn’t refuse. “It just sounded like an interesting story,” Bowman said. “It’s a beautiful tree and I’ve decorated it over the years.” Bowman said he planned to have it removed within the next couple years because of it’s giant stature. The tree stands about 50 feet high, according to Doug Crabtree, owner of AAA Quality Tree Service in Auburn. Crabtree, along with two of his employees, donated their time and service to cut the tree down. Crabtree said he was contacted by Watts and immediately agreed to help out. “That’s what Christmas is all about,” he said. To transport the tree from Rocklin to Lodi were Lodi residents and volunteers David McClung and Roger Rehmke. It took the help of four men, a tractor and a truck to load the Redwood onto the trailer. The whole process of chopping down Bowman’s tree has been volunteer driven – from the tree, tree service and stump grinding by John Dumont Stump Grinding also of Auburn, to the transporters and decorators. “Our Lodi community is amazing,” Watts said. “We really pull together especially in times like this …” Bowman said the tree was about 10 feet when he purchased his Rocklin house in 1999. Although it stands tall today, it wasn’t always that way. Bowman said years ago it became sickly, but with the help of fertilizer spikes, Bowman said the Redwood shot up. Shading his home for more than a decade, Bowman said the tree would be missed. “We’re anxious to see it decorated for the last time ... We’ll miss it, but we’ll plant another one.”