City Gets Christmas Tree Its Been Eyeing For Years, Owner Ready To Give Back To City

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The City of Pittsburgh has selected this year’s Christmas tree, which will be lit up this holiday season in Downtown Pittsburgh.

It took some time, but a man from Regent Square has finally given in and is donating his tree for this year’s festivities.

The tree is nearly 60-feet tall and sits between apartment complexes on South Braddock Avenue, but soon, you’ll be able to see it in front on the City-County Building.

“I was born here, raised here, and I love this city, and I thought that possibly I would be able to help them out,” said John Zitelli, the owner of the tree.

The city has been eyeing Zitelli’s tree for years.

“I was approached once before, about five, six years ago, and I said no,” Zitelli said.

It was a flat-out “no” because he worried his tenants liked the tree and he thought it’d be a hassle. Thankfully, this year, he’s changed his tune.

“At this point, I’m getting older and I would like to do something for my city,” he says.

The tree’s green branches now climb taller than the next-door buildings. Branches that seem so useless without ornaments, but pretty soon, the city will decorate it for the Christmas season.

Zitelli: “My kids will be there, my grandkids.”

KDKA’s Megan Schiller: “And you’ll tell everyone, ‘Hey, that’s my tree?’”

Zitelli: “That’s my tree! Oh yes.”

Zitelli says city officials will be removing the tree early Saturday morning at 7 a.m., that means the street will be temporarily closed at that time.

Once installed, workers will put up the lights and decorations. The lighting ceremony will be on Friday, Nov. 17.

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