Lismore: the Australian town that turns trash into Christmas trees2 min read
Lismore is the largest town in the northeast of Australia’s New South Wales, and its traditional Christmas tree, used to be pretty regular.
Before 2015, a regular Cook pine in the middle of a roundabout was dressed up each holiday season as a Chrismas tree.
But, like all Cook pines, the tree leaned toward the equator, so the effect of decorating was disappointing.
In 2014, photos of their ‘leaning’ Christmas tree went viral, gaining global notoriety, with international headlines like “Is this the world’s most pathetic Christmas tree?”
Lismore is an inland town with a vibrant culture centered on art and environmental awareness.
So it was fitting when a member of the town’s council staff came up with the idea of a recycled Christmas tree, to be situated on an otherwise unadorned roundabout down the same street from the Cook pine tree, which also still gets the festive treatment.
The first tree, built under the cover of night out of a pile of bicycles, was unveiled in 2015, creating a new tradition that continue still today.
In subsequent years, the tree has been made from used tires, old road signs, broken umbrellas, and potted plants combined with solar-powered lighting. Materials come from the town’s junkyard, and various staff take on design and construction.
In 2016 staff made the tree from old car tyres and in 2017 it was fashioned from old road signs with an impressive star. In 2018, the tree was constructed of 49 second-hand umbrellas to create a very colourful and much talked about tree.
In 2019 it was the Living Christmas Tree with more than 300 potted plants, and the 2020 tree was a little different due pandemic: It was made from recycled 25-litre drums that store chemicals for use on farms, which were used as a gesture of respect to rural community, while the decorations were made from used animal feed bags, piping, and discarded metal.
The 2021 tree is made entirely from old bikes from the Revolve Shop with more than 90 bikes welded together, 50 litres of white paint and almost half a tonne of steel.
Images from web – Google Research