Originally the City cut a tree down every year and put it in a hole in the ground at what is now called Walery Plaza (Cherry and River Road). It would frequently fall over and branches would break off so helpers would right the tree and drill holes in the trunk for the branches. Sometimes this would take two days. Finally a tree was planted but it died.
A second tree was planted and that is the one standing today. However, this tree was almost lost. Dave Walery started hauling water in a garbage can to keep it alive. The Fire District joined in the effort by hosing the tree and then Keizer Water Service District (now the Public Works Department) joined in the efforts by putting a water ring around the tree. Some time later the Water District discovered that the tree was actually planted on top of the old Cherry Avenue (blacktop) so they dug it up, one half at a time, propping the tree up so it wouldn’t fall over, and replaced the black top with dirt.
The tree stands at 63 feet in 2008.