Altadena Awe: Christmas Tree Lane

It's the sparkly 96th outing for this drive-by-in-awe spectacle.

Anyone who would claim to be, like, seriously into shrubs, or a bush buff, or a fan of flowery branches of all sorts, probably can name their favorite tree in town.

It might be the Japanese maple in their own front yard, or a Coast Live Oak they came across that one year on a hike down by the river. But thousands of locals, even if they do have a favorite tree, keep a special corner of their affections open to a certain stretch of street in Altadena.

Christmas Tree Lane is that fabled thoroughfare, and for nearly a century the avenue's tall and noble deodar cedars have provided some holiday shine for neighbors, locals, and those who travel from around Southern California to see the seasonal sparkler of a sight.

And that sight will once again do its tall-of-tree twinkling on Santa Rosa Avenue in Altadena starting on Saturday, Dec. 10.

Visitors to the nightly sight may be even more in tender touch with the treely spirit in 2016, given that the famous deodar cedars have not been weathering the drought well. A commendable undertaking to help the trees arose in the summer, with several people pitching in to dig dry wells and run hoses, revealed Pasadena Star-News.

It's a reminder that though this is the 96th go-around for the glow show, trees, even long-lived and typically hearty trees, could use some TLC during challenging times.

Consider joining (and donating) to the Christmas Tree Lane Association to give these stately symbols of both the season and Altadena a little extra oomph. 

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And consider, on Dec. 10, arriving well before sundown to peruse the Winter Arts & Crafts Festival, which begins at 2. As for the flipping of the switch? That happens at 6 o'clock, a bit after the sun says farewell and the thousands of lights wending through the trees can really do their thing.

While we may have our favorite trees around the region, be they in front of our own houses, the library down the street, or a few zip codes away, Christmas Tree Lane is a shared tree-love experience for many Southern Californians of multiple generations.

Here's to the lovely line-up of deodar cedars staying strong, robust, and full of festive light for many holiday seasons to come.

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