Releaf Medina raising funds for 2 new Christmas trees at State Street Park

Photos courtesy of Chris Busch: These photos show the two large trees at the front of State Street Park – decorated for Christmas and how they look the rest of the year. Releaf Medina is seeking funds to plant new trees near the two large ones in the park.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 17 June 2022 at 4:36 pm

MEDINA – For generations, the village of Medina has been known for decking out the town at Christmas in spectacular style.

Across the historic downtown to State Street Park and throughout the village, Medina’s holiday trimmings are among the best in the region, said Chris Busch, forestry coordinator for the village.

“They beckon locals, expatriates and visitors alike to annually experience a real hometown Christmas,” he said.

“It’s what we do,” said Kathy Blackburn, head of the Releaf Medina committee. “Christmas in Medina is magical.”

Blackburn is involved in many Medina initiatives, including Medina’s annual Christmas celebration. In addition to being active with Releaf Medina, she is chair of Medina’s Tree Board, which has a plan that figures into the future of Christmas in Medina, Busch said.

“One of the most magnificent focal points of our holiday display are the two ‘Village Christmas trees’ in State Street Park,” Blackburn said. “They’re breathtaking and Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without them.”

These trees are more than 60 feet tall, aging, and while they’re in no immediate danger, sodden soil and a strong wind could bring them down, according to Busch.         .

“The time to replace them is now – not when they’re laying on the ground,” Blackburn said.

Courtesy of Chris Busch: This is the site plan for the new trees which will replace two aging trees in State Street Park.

Large conifers have a shallow root system, Busch explained. When they reach the height of the Medina trees, the right combination of heavy rain, waterlogged soil and wind could bring them down. To address the concerns, Medina’s Tree Board started formulating a plan before Covid struck more than two years ago.

Busch has developed a plan that is now in motion.

“We have engaged Draves Tree Service of Darien Center as a consultant and contractor,” Busch said. “Tom Draves is one of the most respected and experienced arborists in Western New York. With his help, we have decided on two 12-foot Black Hills spruce.”

The Black Hills spruce is a dense evergreen tree with a strong central leader, Busch said. It has a distinctive and refined pyramidal form and is highly tolerant of urban pollution. The tree is also drought tolerant and can live for nearly 100 years.

“The trees will have to be dug and installed after August,” Busch said. “The cost to dig, ship, plant and stake two trees with a one-year guarantee is $4,000. To do this, we need community Christmas support. As soon as we’ve raised the funds, the Tree Board will finalize the purchase and plans for a late summer/fall installation.”

The plan provides for leaving the two current trees as they are.

“Of course, we’re hoping these two magnificent trees will be around many more years, but to insure we’ll always have two ‘Village Christmas trees’ in the future, we’re looking to plant two new trees this fall,” Blackburn said.

Blackburn, Busch and the Tree Board are counting on Medina’s love of trees and all things Christmas to carry the day and fund this initiative.

“To accomplish this, Releaf Medina is launching the State Street Park Christmas Tree Fund Drive,” Blackburn said. “Every donation helps and all donors will be listed on a donors’ plaque that will be on display in Medina’s Christmas headquarters – the Santa House in Rotary Park.”

Blackburn also explained the connection between Releaf Medina and the Medina Tree Board. Because the Tree Board is a department of the village it cannot legally solicit money. Releaf Medina was formed as an agency to accept donations.

Blackburn said donations may be made as a general donation, in memory of someone or as an anonymous donation. Donations are also tax-deductible.

Donation tiers include Santa’s Helper – $25 to $199; Jingle Bell Benefactor – $200 to $299; Rudolf Reward – $300 to $499; and Kris Kringle – $500 and up.

“Year after year, people come from miles around to experience a real, old-fashioned, hometown Christmas in Medina,” Blackburn said. “Please help us insure that a Hallmark Christmas will continue for years to come in State Street Park.”

People who wish to donate can download the State Street Park Christmas Tree Fund brochure on the village website at or send a check to Medina Releaf Fund, payable to ORG/Medina Releaf Society, in care of ORG, P.O. box 543, Medina.