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O Christmas Tree

Profile image for By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe / Staff Writer
By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe / Staff Writer

Secret decorator keeps tradition going along I-35E

The festive little evergreen beside the freeway at Lewisville Lake Bridge may remain one of the season’s sweet mysteries.

Again this year, in time for Christmas, someone decorated the little tree with sturdy, sparkling things to cheer commuters and residents heading north on Interstate 35E.

When Carol Kaler first moved to Shady Shores, the tree was a bit smaller and easier to get to, tempting her to stop and decorate it.

“It’s just so cute and neat to see this,” she said.

But Kaler isn’t doing the decorating and she doesn’t know who does. Nor does Robert  Baylor, manager of the nearby Lakeview R.V. Park, formerly the Tower Bay Mobile Home Park.

And if anyone in the Lewisville Police Department knows, they aren’t saying, according to the Police Chief Russell Kerbow.

The maintenance crews at the Texas Department of Transportation don’t know either, says John Polster. Polster also lives in Shady Shores and has a long relationship with the state agency through his transportation consulting firm. Even though an additional bridge will soon be built over the lake, the tree should be safe from crews widening the freeway since it’s in the railroad right of way, Polster said.

The tree was already spared once as the Denton County Transportation Authority reworked that part of the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas line to run the A-train.

When Shady Shores resident Tom Spencer served on the DCTA board, he and others advocated to preserve trees along the line, but there was never any official policy at the board level about the little Christmas tree, he said.

Spencer grows Christmas trees in Shady Shores. He claimed he isn’t decorating the tree, and he doesn’t know who is doing it either.

Based on its size, Spencer estimates the little tree is eight or nine years old, but said it could be older, since it’s not getting watered and is weathering some pretty tough elements on its own. The tree is growing close to a utility manhole, which maybe helping it withstand all the changes in the area.

“However the seed got planted where it was — I believe in serendipity,” Spencer said.

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.