City’s ‘ugly’ Christmas tree prompts public outcry

The puny pine was a last-minute stand-in taken from a city park

In this photo taken on Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, residents look on duing the Christmass the tree lighting in Reading, Pa. Reading's spindly 50-foot spruce drew the ire of residents who said it was ruining their holiday spirit. Now a group led by the city council president is raising money to buy and decorate a more impressive replacement. (AP Photo/Reading Eagle, Ben Hasty)

READING, Pa. (AP) — A Christmas tree that might make Charlie Brown think twice is getting kicked to the curb a little early after residents of a Pennsylvania town complained it was too ugly.

Reading’s spindly 50-foot spruce drew the ire of residents who said it was ruining their holiday spirit.

Now a group led by the city council president is raising money to buy and decorate a more impressive replacement. The current tree is topped with a lighted pretzel, a nod to the area’s many bakeries.

The puny pine was a last-minute stand-in taken from a city park. The city had planned to get its tree from a farm, but the owner wouldn’t let the crews drive on the wet ground when they went to pick it up.

Officials are hoping to have a do-over tree lighting ceremony next weekend.

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