Welcome to Christmas Tree Lane!
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The 2013 Fall newsletter is now available!
The Plant Selection Guide now available on which trees and plants are best to plant on Santa Rosa Ave around the Deodar trees.
Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena (Santa Rosa Avenue, between Woodbury Avenue and Altadena Drive) is the oldest large-scale Christmas lighting spectacle in the United States. [Click here for directions to the Lane.]
In 1885, real estate magnate John P. Woodbury of the Woodbury Family, the founders of Altadena - planted 134 deodar trees (Cedrus deodara) as a grand mile-long driveway entrance to the mansion he would build. Woodbury's mansion was never built, but the trees thrived and the "driveway" became Santa Rosa Avenue.
In 1920, Altadena resident and department store owner Frederick C. Nash organized the first tree-lighting spectacle. In that first December when deodars were decorated with colorful lights with the goal of attracting shoppers to Nash's store, one of the most celebrated Los Angeles-area traditions was born. The Lane is recognized as the oldest large-scale outdoor Christmas display in the world, listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designated as the California State Landmark No. 990.
Every Christmas season for more than 80 years, the majestic deodars on the "Mile of Christmas Trees" are strung with 10,000 lights.
Since 1956, the tradition has been kept alive by the Christmas Tree Lane Association (CTLA), a non-profit group of volunteers that has preserved the Lane without corporate sponsors or government funding, relying only on community support. CTLA members put up the lights between October and early December, then work on taking them down from February to April. In the spring and fall, volunteers rebuild the lines, replace faulty bulbs, and clear the brush growing under the deodars.
All this hard work culminates on the second Saturday in December, when the festive lighting ceremony brings out thousands of revelers from all around the area, as well as local choirs, marching bands, solo performers, and of course - Santa Claus!