Goshen News, Goshen, IN


December 2, 2013

LAST CHRISTMAS: Family decorates dying tree for 28th, final time

Goshen family decorates dying tree for 28th, final time

GOSHEN — Christmas in Goshen may shine just a little less brightly in the coming years following news that the large Christmas tree along Indiana Avenue decorated annually by the Gene Stutsman family is on its final year.

According to Stutsman, he and his family have had a long-running tradition of decorating the nearly 70-foot-tall blue spruce located on the family’s property in the 800 block of South Indiana Avenue. This will be the 28th year the family has decorated the outdoor wonder.

“The tree was actually a family Christmas tree when I was a kid,” Stutsman said of the tree. “We actually used it inside, and then planted it outside when we were done with it.”

Stutsman joked that when he first got the idea for decorating the tree, he thought a few strings of lights and one electrical outlet would have him covered. Today, that number has jumped to five 20-amp outlets and over 2,400 LED lights, resulting in one of the largest — and brightest — Christmas trees in the area.

“I’d say I put in probably seven hours on a cherry picker, and it takes us another four to five hours after that to get everything ready,” Stutsman said of the tree’s preparation. “We used to have to buy 300 bulbs a year in order to keep them all lit, but now with the LEDs they have a little better longevity.”

Unfortunately, that longevity doesn’t appear to have transferred over to the tree itself.

Over the last 10 years, Stutsman said he noticed that the aging tree had begun to show increasing signs of damage, and it was later discovered that the tree had been attacked by a particularly virulent form of tree fungus that is nearly impossible to stop.

“It’s a type of fungus that attacks blue spruces when they reach a certain age,” Stutsman said. “The blue spruce tree’s natural habitat is up in the mountains, and with all the pollution around them down here, eventually they can’t stand it anymore and they start to get this fungus attacking them.”

Text Only
  • David Suchet as Hercule Poirot.jpg Easter crime mysteries? Some Easter traditions go beyond chocolate bunnies Visions of chocolate candies, Easter bunnies and the risen Christ come to mind this Easter season -- at least in the United States. But what about the rest of the world? Here are a few traditions and surprises.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • At the game with Ernie

    Baseball on radio brings the imagination alive

    April 13, 2014

  • There are many ways to measure success It yields a virtual sea of books, talks and podcasts; classes, seminars and sermons; pointers, tips and 10-step lists; and gaggles of guides that promise the seven secrets to it. The "it," of course, is success. A dictionary definition? Easy: the ach

    April 13, 2014

  • FEA GN140413 dick lehman 08 Passion for pottery

    Passion for pottery BY SAM HOUSEHOLDER sam.householder@goshennews.com

    Dick Lehman has spent his 33-year career as a potter learning how to see.

    Lehman has built a successful career despite no formal, traditional pottery training.

    April 13, 2014 6 Photos

  • FEA GN0411 tom yoder column image Winter leaves yards with trouble spots Each and every year the majority of us are faced with some sort of horticultural problem that exists, has existed, or we're worried that it could become a problem in our future. Every year, and predominantly in the spring, I receive calls from homeow

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Electing sheriffs best way to protect rights DEAR SHERIFF: I have heard of proposed Indiana legislation in the last few years to elect one county executive who would appoint the sheriff and essentially remove the sheriff from being elected. What is your opinion on such legislation? ANSWER: The

    April 11, 2014

  • stephanie price column sig [Duplicate] 'Can I spend the night?' Just say 'no'

    Have I mentioned I’m a morning person? Love those early, early hours. They’re fresh and sweet, much like a newborn baby — quiet, gentle, promising. Oh-five-hundred is my finest hour, and coffee goes best with a sunrise.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kingsley, Aaron Sawatsky COLUMN: Scientists say climate to deteriorate faster than expected Scientists say climate to deteriorate faster than expected By AARON SAWATSKY-KINGSLEY Columnist

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN0324 Schrock_Rhonda column sig GROUNDS FOR INSANITY: Government can't legislate common sense, matters of the heart It was a story that gripped the world for days. A Boeing 777 carrying 239 souls; missing. A desperate search by numerous countries; nothing. Questions in a multitude of dialects and tongues; few answers in any language. As someone put it, “So they can track my phone, but they can’t find a missing plane?”

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • stephanie price column sig [Duplicate] WHOLE FAMILY: Ways to help in times of crisis Ways to help in times of crisis

    March 30, 2014 1 Photo


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing

Goshen City Council member Dixie Robinson is asking residents to make an effort to clean up their yards this spring. The city’s Dial-A-Truck program is available to haul trash away. Do you think there are more unsightly properties in Goshen this year than five years ago?

Yes, I have noticed more problem properties
No, I have not noticed more problems
I think the problems are about the same as always
     View Results