Did You Know?: Purdue Memorial Union's Christmas tree

The tree that will brighten up the holiday season this year in Purdue Memorial Union represents a tradition that's at least 80 years old.

A Christmas tree has added to the Union's festive air since the 1930s, says Margie Jones, program director for PMU.

In those days, the trees were brought from out of state; in the 1950s, for instance, the trees were purchased and shipped from Wisconsin via flatbed rail car. In the 1960s, the Union's Christmas trees were harvested from Northern Indiana and shipped into Purdue via truck. In the early 1970s, the trees were bought from local nurseries.

In 1975, a local resident asked to donate a tree from their property for use as the Union's Christmas tree. Purdue officials gladly accepted the donation, and ever since, the trees in the Union have come from a philanthropic resident, Jones says.

The Union's Christmas tree annually is considered one of the largest indoor Christmas trees in Indiana, and while it is displayed, it is meticulously cared for, Jones says. The tree this year will be watered with five gallons of water three times per day.

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