San Jacinto Plaza Christmas Tree Will Be Saved – Plaza Reopening Delayed until May
The most famous tree in Downtown El Paso will remain there after all.
El Paso city officials announced on Tuesday that the 50-foot pine tree that has stood over the San Jacinto plaza for 16 years won’t be cut down or removed, as had been alleged in recent weeks. There were reports in early January that construction crews had harmed the tree during renovation work.
An email from City Manager Tommy Gonzales to City Council stated at the time, “’The large tree in San Jacinto plaza has been severely damaged during the reconstruction process due to root damage and soil compaction.’ The feeling then was that tree would not survive.
The Afghan pine was donated to the city by Connie Boyce in honor of her late husband Charles "Chuck" Boyce in September of 1998. It has served as the city’s living Christmas tree since.
Meanwhile, the reconstruction of the plaza is taking longer than expected, and renovations are not expected to be completed in the expected time frame. The completion date of February 28, 2015 has been pushed back to the latter part of May 2015.