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  • Writer's pictureRobert Sadler

A Tree & Tradition Taken Down

Updated: Oct 28, 2019

The Million Dollar Monarch is Gone Except For Memories

Like millions over the years who have come to see, each Christmas, the huge lighted Pecan tree at the east end of Armstrong Parkway at Preston Road in Highland Park, I will miss it greatly.

My first visit was in 1949. Every Christmas since for 69 years I made a pilgrimage with parents, then on my own as an adult, then with my wife and then took my son to see it for his first Christmas.

Unless I was out of town during the entire Christmas Season, I always made it a point to visit The Million Dollar Monarch. Seeing it lit up at Christmas time each year was a timeless joy. Living in Dallas I also visited the tree on a regular basis at other times of the year.

I didn’t know when I saw it in December of 2018 I would be seeing the last of it’s red, blue and green lit glory. Strung with it’s traditional lights, it was a diminished skeleton of it’s formerly immense spreading canopy.

According to Highland Park city officials the tree was dying and had become a potential hazard to public safety. It was cut down in a single day: Monday, October 21, 2019.

Much of the tree's old limbs in its canopy had been taken down over the last few years and apparently discarded. The remaining tree’s wood, after removal, is to be kiln-dried, reserved and stored. Perhaps some of it will crafted into a memorial of some kind or used for commemorative pieces.

The ParkCitiesPeople’s Editor, William Taylor reported, “The town’s lighting contractor will decorate the nearby sister tree for the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 5th.”

I took this photo about ten years ago and have used it for my Christmas Card

If you would like to have a copy of this image (without the text, contact me) or the Christmas Card I fashioned go to:

To see a short documentary about the "Million Dollar Monarch" by Writer/Director/Photographer Rob Tranchin, 'An Original Production of KERA' which first aired on KERA TV in 2007 go to:

[Note: Any political views, images or opinions in this documentary

are those of Mr. Tranchin and KERA.]

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