Foresthill Road trees get holiday sparkle

Residents bedeck forest pines with garland, bows
By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal Staff Writer
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Something festive is going down on Foresthill Road. Anyone taking the drive between Auburn and Foresthill should keep their eyes peeled for the dozens of living trees area residents have decorated, turning Foresthill Road into a sort of Christmas Tree Lane. “The people who go up there are in for a treat,” Foresthill resident Gloria Marie said. Who decorates the trees? Marie said she’s among community members who have taken it upon themselves to spread some holiday cheer along Foresthill Road. As of Friday, she had decorated three trees, buying decorations like garland and red bows at yard sales and the Dollar Store. “We’re just secret little tree decorators,” she said. “It’s just kind of a mystery. These are the secret tree elves.” Marie counted 33 trees on Christmas Day last year. This year, she counted at least 42 by Thanksgiving weekend, and said she’s noticed more and more decorated trees as Christmas draws near. “I personally feel it’s so special or magical when a person or a family picks a tree in the middle of the forest to make it special,” she said. “They’re decorated just like they’re inside someone’s house. I just find it heartwarming and magical to make the trees pretty.” Tami Sumvall, owner of the Heritage Salon in Foresthill, appreciates the informal holiday cheer. “I love seeing it,” she said. “I think it’s a sweet tradition that everybody does.” Sumvall has heard that families who’ve lost a loved one might have decorated some trees. “Some I think are for memory, some I think are for fun,” she said. “It just makes the drive prettier.” JoAn Clifford, co-owner of Clifford’s Cookin’ Good at the Starlight Café in Foresthill, also gets a kick out of the trees, no matter who decorates them. “They’re kind of like angels in the forest, people who like to do something fun for everybody else,” she said. The Journal’s Loryll Nicolaisen can be reached at, or comment online at