The holiday season 2020 has an offensive start.
Christmas trees in cities across the country became a disgrace after photos of the sparse evergreens went viral on social media, with many users seeing the trees as a symbol of this year’s events.
As a perennial tradition, cities put both large and small large Christmas trees to start the holiday spirit.
One tree that made headlines was the new Rockefeller Center Christmas tree that arrived from Oneonta, New York last week.
The new 75-foot spruce from Norway with its crooked branches drew a wide range of comparisons, ranging from Charlie Brown̵
Others said the tree could not get out and look better given the rise in Covid-19 cases across the country.
A spokesman for the Rockefeller Center explained that the tree is still warming up to its new environment, the show “Today” reported.
“Once unpacked and first set up, the branches do not immediately click all in place again, and these are the photos you see. It takes a while before it settles completely,” the center said. “The tree is fully wrapped, branch by branch, for a few weeks before being cut and driven into town on a flatbed.”
The Rockefeller Center’s official Twitter account responded to its critics on Wednesday after the first image of the tree went viral last week.
“Wow, you should all look good right after a two-day drive, huh?” the center tweeted. “Just wait until I turn on the light!”
While the conifer was facing a flurry of complaints about its appearance, the Rockefeller Center tree also received renewed attention for a sweet companion who accompanied on the 170-mile trip to New York City: a small, adult saw owl.
The bird was rescued and treated at the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, where it was scheduled to be released on the grounds of Saugerties, New York, two hours north of the city.
The Fountain Square Christmas tree in Cincinnati, Ohio faced similar ridicule on social media.
The 65-foot-long Norway spruce arrived earlier this month with uneven holes and broken branches, leading to another stream of jokes on social media.
Even Stephen Colbert shouted at the tree on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” Tuesday night, saying the Cincinnati tree contained “how we are doing in 2020,” the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Colbert joked at the officials, who said the appearance of the deformed tree was partly due to the branches still tied in yarn.
“Can I start using that excuse?” Asked Colbert. “I know it may look like I haven’t trained since March, but it’s just the yarn. If you wind me up, I’m harder than a Hemsworth.”
The Cincinnati tree has since adapted to its new home after its eerie debut and has even created its own T-shirt and Twitter account.
In Boston, a cloudy Christmas tree was exhibited for 11 days before being cut down after the city received a series of complaints on its website and social media, Boston.com reported.
A spokesman for Boston’s Department of Public Works said the tree, which was set up near Brighton in Boston, was one of 41 others shipped from Nova Scotia, Canada, according to the newspaper.
The many trees were exhibited in various neighborhoods of the city, but the evergreen in Brighton was the only one cut down, the paper reported.
What is left is a literal stump.
In a post on a Facebook page dedicated to old and new sights in the Brighton-Allston area, a Facebook user said on Tuesday that the tree should not have been delivered in the first place.
James Rojas, a reporter for WBZ News Radio, posted photos on Twitter on Tuesday with the caption: “This Christmas tree in Brighton should bring some ‘xmas’ cheers, but instead create some Christmas hunts.”
On Twitter last Tuesday, the Cincinnati tree shared a few words of its own in response to the online ridicule.
“Like all of us, I’m just doing the best I can in these difficult times,” the account said.