The 60-year tradition of having a real Christmas Tree on top the Lenox Mall Macy's is about to change - for the first year ever.
For the 2013 season, it will be fake.
The tree will come from Alpharetta-based Christmas Lights, Etc., a company that prides itself on having realistic trees.
Director of sales Mike Streb said he knows that some people will be upset about not having a real tree but hopes the new tree will be a new tradition for Atlantans.
"We're just honored to be a part of the Macy's tradition, and a new tradition as well," Streb said. "This tree looks as if it still grew from the ground up."
But to people like florist Clay Tillman, whose life's work is bringing real plants into people's homes, the switch is a tragedy.
"The fact that they're going to use a fake tree for such an iconic building and such an iconic store is ludicrous," Tillman said. "I think it definitely cheapens the holiday season. It cheapens the tradition."
The switch comes after two years of Christmas tree catastrophes, where Macy's trees broke after being put up for the holidays, a result of droughts.
Tillman said that he's had to work with difficult plants before, and that it's still better than going fake.
"If we can put a man on the moon, surely we can put a fresh tree on Macy's," Tillman said.
A spokeswoman for Macy's said the company simply wanted the tree to be eco-friendly. It will be 56 feet tall and will be lit on Thanksgiving.
Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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