Anne and Toby Nappi planted this fir at their Westbrook home 23 years ago. They’re pleased it will be put to good use as Portland’s Christmas tree. Mikayla Patel / The Forecaster

When Anne and Toby Nappi built their home on Methodist Road in Westbrook 23 years ago, they planted two small firs in the front yard. They never anticipated just how large those trees would grow to be.

One of the trees, a 40-foot balsam, was selected by the city of Portland as this year’s Monument Square Christmas tree. It is scheduled to be cut down and transported to Portland Thursday morning.

For the Nappis, it’s a win-win.

They always intended that the trees be used as Christmas trees, Toby Nappi said.

“I have a couple grandkids who love Christmas, and I wanted to decorate these trees for Christmas.  I did for a couple of years, but they’ve just gotten so big that I can’t decorate them anymore,” he said.

The Nappis offered up the tree to Portland three years ago, but it didn’t make the cut. If it hadn’t been selected this year, Nappi said, it would have had to come down anyway because it blocks the end of his driveway and is a hazard.


“I’d hate to cut it down without putting good use to it,” he said.

Both of the big fir trees in his yard lean in one direction, and because the roots don’t go very deep, he worries they will blow over one day and take out a nearby utility pole.

Nappi said he’s heard from a few neighbors who plan to turn out Thursday morning to watch the tree be cut down and driven away, and some say they’ll bring their kids along for the experience.

Others have questioned why the Nappis are cutting down such a big and beautiful tree.

“Unfortunately, there are a few negative things about it on Facebook,” he said. “People don’t understand, we’re not cutting it down just for the fun of it. I’m just surprised so many people have negative things to say about it.”

Portland Forestry crews will be on site around 8 a.m., and the tree, loaded on a flatbed truck, will depart for Portland about 9 a.m. Westbrook Police, Portland Police and Portland Parking Control will assist in escorting the tree.

Once the tree is secured in the square, Forestry crews will begin installing lights in preparation for the Nov. 25 tree lighting ceremony, which will begin at 4 p.m

As for the Nappis’ other big Christmas tree, Nappi said it’s also large enough for Monument Square and there’s always next year.


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