The tree was too tall, so only a third could be used.
It was too thick, so it had to be carefully manicured via chainsaw to fit in the 12-inch diameter stand.
Speaking of the stand, it had somehow become full of garbage between holidays, requiring the crew to dig their hands deep into the base and withdraw soda bottles and cups.
Jesse D. Watson/MDN
Between holidays, the stand had gotten filled with trash, which needed to be fished out by the crew.
This was slightly after a train came through, passing a few inches from the truck and delaying action briefly, and slightly before discovering some acrobatic maneuvers needed to be used to dodge low-hanging power lines with the tall-reaching tree.
Of course, that wasn't even to mention that the parking lot, where the fork lift was, filled up with cars since it had been parked, necessitating some fancy piloting.
"He must be able to spin that (forklift) on a dime," Bonnie Kemper, president of the Minot Downtown Business and Professional Association, mused happily.
Actually, none of the three or four crew, with another three or four adjunct team members, seemed at all bothered by any of the challenges, and thanks to their work, the tree now stands, in its massive, concrete stand, as testament to the crew's understanding of tree-moving standards.
The tree itself was cut and brought in by Chris Tisi of Tc Nursery in Burlington, whom Kemper described as "just a wonderful young man." Tisi, and help, have brought the tree in every year now, "for at least three years, anyway," said Kemper, either from a donor or from his own nursery.
This year's tree came from the KXMC lot, and people were happy to see it put to good use, or at least the third of the gigantic tree that the equipment could accomodate.
"I refused offers from other people after finding out about this one, so we definitely had to make it work," Kemper laughed.
The stand itself is about five years old, according to Kemper, and was built by Joel Feist of Real Builders, Minot. "He's my hero!", Kemper declared, as she dug miscellaneous trash from inside the base. Trees have now been on the stand in front of 10 N. Main St. for three years running.
This year's tree is 25 feet tall, about the same size as last year's, but it's much wider.
"It just swallows up the lights," Derek Hackett of Pretty Lights, the company decorating the tree and the downtown area, said. "You put more and more lights on, and it just keeps eating them up. It takes a lot."
It takes a lot of manpower, too, according to Hackett and his co-worker, Juan Vadell, about two solid days of eight-hour work just for the tree alone, decorating from evening until the early hours of the morning, and adorning the whole of the downtown takes weeks of the same.
Vadell and Hackett are both broadcasting majors at Minot State University, and there are two other non-students who work with them as well.
Hackett said this is the biggest tree they're likely to work on this year. Clients, both private and business, begin hiring their services the first week in November, and by the second week, he said, they have to start turning people away. It's their third year having to turn business down and their fourth year working as Pretty Lights.
The tree went up sooner this year, taking advantage of the nice weather. "It's really required to get this done," Kemper said, and remembered how they froze working six hours a previous year in the cold. "This works better."
Kemper made sure to underscore that the money used to decorate the tree and downtown comes from the Downtown Minot Wine Walk, which happened Sept. 20 this year. "We really want to thank our sponsors," she said, reminding that there will be a big list of sponsors beside the tree.
The tree will have gift boxes under it for decoration, built especially for the occasion, and there will be nutcracker soldiers as well as other sights.
The lighting ceremony for the tree, which will be decorated in thousands of white lights, at least twice as many as last year, will happen Nov. 23 at 6 p.m. Kemper expects about a thousand people to attend.