A beloved tree in Fairfax County, Virginia, known to lift spirits around the holidays, has disappeared from its longtime location — but it’s found a new home.
The tree sat in the center median at the intersection of Popes Head Road of the Fairfax County Parkway — a full but misshapen pine with a Charlie Brown Christmas tree vibe. Every year at Christmastime random people would stop to decorate it.
Jimmy Sims would often drive by the tree when taking his 8- and 10-year-old daughters to school. They stopped and decorated it recently with silver and red tinsel. Sims said they were all surprised to see traffic cones around the tree this week.
“The kids were pretty sad. They thought it was going to get chopped down,” said Sims.
It turned out the tree had to be removed due to a major Virginia Department of Transportation project to improve that intersection.
Ellen Kamilakis, a spokesperson for VDOT, went to her boss and said, “We’ve got to save that tree.”
The tree was carefully removed, balled and put in burlap, and moved to VDOT’s property on Alliance Drive and West Ox Road.
“We can’t save every tree, but this one we could, so we did,” said Kamilakis.
In a video posted on X about moving the tree, Kamilakis, who donated some of her own money for supplies to replant the tree, said people can still stop by to visit the tree and even decorate it if they want to.
“I love that tree. It brings me joy every year when I see it decorated,” said Kamilakis.
As for the tree’s future, Kamilakis said if there is a good spot for the famous tree back at the intersection after the road project is complete, it might get moved back.