Fashion Island, Spare That Tree

No one can deny that the 110-foot Fashion Island Christmas tree is a beautiful sight. Workmen labored for more than a week outfitting it with thousands of colored lights and hundreds of pounds of artificial snow. The result is indeed inspiring.

But how can we justify destroying a 70-year-old tree for five short weeks of enjoyment? The sign at the tree’s base explains how ecologically important it is to “clear away the larger trees to make way for the smaller ones.” For those of us who have ever spent time in an old-growth forest, this argument runs a little thin.

Does a fancy mall in Newport Beach really need the country’s tallest Christmas tree--one that actually towers over the national tree in Washington, D.C.?

I urge the Fashion Island Merchants Assn. and the Irvine Co. to come up with an alternative for the 1991 holiday season. An artificial tree could be used and few, if any, shoppers would ever know the difference.