North Sound News

Mystery surrounding 'decorated' Highway 522 Christmas tree that came down

WOODINVILLE, Wash. — A famous decorated Christmas tree along Highway 522 has come down and it has led to an uproar on social media.

This is a mystery because that tree is hard to reach.

Whatever direction people travel on Highway 522, they simply could not miss the tree decorated year-round. So on this day after Christmas 2018, everyone, it seems, noticed that the tree is no longer standing.

"It's always just been a fun thing," Kenny Robertson said. "My kids have always pointed it out when we've driven by it. 'There's the Christmas tree.'"

Robertson stood inside his BBQ truck he parks outside the Reptile Museum on Highway 2. He just moved and set up shop here from Utah. But early on, the tree caught his family's eye.

"And even during the summertime, it's been there," Robertson said. "So it's just kind of a fun little thing that puts a smile, I think, on people's faces every time they see it."

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​When Kenny noticed Wednesday morning the tree was down, he posted this photograph online.

"That was a drive-by photo," he said, with a laugh.

"It was posted on Facebook in a couple of community groups this afternoon," Lise James said.  "And everybody just exploded in emotion over this tree being down."

James says the tree is a part of life around here.

"It's amazing the love and passion," she said. "Even some of the tender comments from men who travel that route have really just brought a tear to my eyes."

That's especially true on this, the day after Christmas.

"I know," James said. "So sad."

Now, everyone is trying to figure out what happened.

"Some people have thought it might be vandalism but, you know, there's no proof of anything," she said. "So it will remain a mystery."

The Washington State Patrol said they have no reports that someone hit the tree in an accident.

But people here aren't letting this tree go. Robertson has started a "GoFundMe" campaign to plant and decorate a new tree. And someone has removed the ornaments from the old tree and put them on a new one.