If Freud had a psychotherapy practice in Ferndale — that is if he could get one — he might notice how fixated the town folk are on their very tall, living Christmas tree. He might think nothing of it. After all, sometimes a Christmas tree is just a Christmas tree. But then again, Ferndale has proved that it has issues with its sexuality. Therefore, Freud might point out that the town’s centerpiece — the mammoth spruce at the end of Main, illuminated in the month of December — is more than meets the eye.
Beyond its phallic significance, it may also — as noted in a previous post — not actually be America’s tallest. Nonetheless, to date, it has been reported as such in the Journal (by me, admittedly), the T-S and the Reporter. No one thought this fact worthy of checking, I guess.
As it turns out, in addition to Blue River, Oregon, which claims that it has the tallest living tree in America, a cursory google search showed that two other cities claim that record as their own. There’s Coeur d’Alene, Idaho with their tree standing at 161 feet and Fresno, California (search the page for A Candlelight Christmas on Huntington Boulevard). Fresno doesn’t say how tall their tree is, only that it’s the nation’s tallest.
The on-line version of the Guinness World Records is no help. Although if you’re interested in knowing about the world’s tallest rose bush, you’ll find answers.
So what does all of this mean for Ferndale? Other than a potential false advertisement lawsuit?
In today’s Reporter, Ferndale’s new fire chief, Tom Ford, estimated the tree’s height at 140-150 feet tall. Then, “He laughed while trying to decide and thought it might be a good idea to have someone officially measure the tree in the near future.”
It’s no laughing matter, Mr. Ford. Before you go around tauting that your tree is bigger than the next guy’s, the least you can do is have the proof to back it up. And if it turns out that your tree is actually smaller, but you’ve been boasting about its fictitious size, well then, you might consider having a chat with a therapist.