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City Views

City Views presents commentary from staff on the latest projects, initiatives, and successes.

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Nov 25

‘Tis the Season for Holiday Tree Lights

Posted on November 25, 2015 at 10:48 AM by Susan Finarelli

By Susan Finarelli, Office of Communications

The lights are up! The lights are up! For the second year, the City of Falls Church installed white lights on the trees on W. Broad Street. Last year the lights ran through the branches. This year just the trunks are wrapped. Why the switch?

"I liked last year's starry canopy," said Katherine Reich, City Arborist, "but it was a little spare. This year we’re wrapping the trunks for a brighter look. It’s an experiment in design."

Which look do you like better: lighting the canopy or wrapping the trunks? Or do you like both equally? Neither? Take our poll and let us know!

Why doesn’t the City wrap the branches and the trunks like other jurisdictions? Mostly, it’s a matter of cost. Wrapping the entire tree is well past the budget, and there are other priorities to attend to first.

The good news is, a policy was just established so that businesses can light trees in the public right-of-way, pending a Seasonal Tree Lighting Permit. In this first year of such permitting, the permit fees are waived. More information on the permit process can be found at

The wrapped trunks will be lit until March. They will then be removed so the tree can grow properly. Then in November 2016: how will the trees be decorated? We shall see! (Please let us know which decorating style you prefer! Take our poll and let us know.)