Utah family's tree to be displayed at Gateway Mall

Published 11/12 2013 01:37PM

Updated 11/12 2013 07:19PM

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS,Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - One Utah family from Cottonwood Heights said good bye to one of their most prized possessions Tuesday morning, a giant pine tree.
The tree has now been donated to The Gateway where it will be the star attraction this holiday season. Standing roughly 60 feet tall, 22 feet wide and weighing over 12,000 pounds “Big Piney” has been in the Smiths family for over 30 years.

"It’s kind of a bitter sweet moment because we love that tree, but we are always worried about it falling down on us," said Cheryl Smith the owner of Big Piney.

Smith and her family of eight entered big piney into Gateway’s annual holiday tree contest. This year the money that would have been used to cut down the tree is going towards a cause close to the family's heart.

"We told Gateway that we would donate the cost of cutting down the tree to the Autism Council of Utah because our son Carson is severely affected by Autism, he's 15-years-old," said Smith.

Now, thanks to the Smith’s generous contribution everyone can take in the beauty of “Big Piney. However, her presence will be missed by not only the Smith’s, but their neighbors.

"I’m sad, I said goodbye to the tree and I said thank you for being a good tree the birds will miss you and I blessed it and U made the sign of the cross and I'm going to miss that tree I really am," said Smiths's neighbor Kaye Rachele-Flanery.

Now, the Smiths plan to make one more memory before saying their final goodbye to “Big Piney.” "Were gonna go have our family picture taken in front of it, said Smith.

By Tuesday the tree will be up and the decorations and lights will be complete by November 23rd.

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