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Posted: November 24, 2010 10:27 a.m.

Local tree on way to Gov's Mansion


With a mixture of sadness and excitement, JoAnn Sims watched her 35 ft. tall red cedar tree be cut down and loaded onto a flat bed truck Wednesday morning, as it prepared to head on its journey to the front yard of the Governor's Mansion.

In 1980, Sims dug up a 1-foot pine tree from the forest and moved it to a pot. Thirty years later, the tree is nearly twice as tall as her house and is headed to the front of the Governor's Mansion, where it will play a part in the annual state tree lighting ceremony.

Sims, who lives on Ga. Highway 142 North, said she saw the ceremony last year and thought her tree was worthy of being included, so she called the Georgia Building Authority and offered to donate her tree. The group came out and examined it and told her they would be happy to have it. The tree will be cut down the day before Thanksgiving.

Building authority spokeswoman Katy Pandow said every year residents donate trees to be placed at the capital and at the governor's mansion. While several trees are placed inside the mansion, Pandow said Sims' large tree will be given the place of honor in front of the governor's home.

The tree lighting ceremony will be held at the mansion, 391 West Paces Ferry Road N.W. in Atlanta, at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5. The mansion will be open for public tours Dec. 6-17. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays.

For more information, call (404) 261-1776, or see


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