In Mobile, Alabama, citizens are fuming that local government officials cut down a cedar tree from a public park to use as a Christmas tree backdrop for President-elect Donald Trump’s “Thank You” tour event. The President-elect spoke more than an hour before a large crowd at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The large tree that has caused inner-town controversy was decorated with Christmas ornaments and decorations and stood right behind Trump.

One angered woman fired off an email at the mayor’s office regarding the situation: “Our city parks aren’t Christmas tree farms. An old-growth tree from a city park for backdrop? Insane.”  Another resident posted online the photo of the tree standing in the stadium on Friday afternoon. “Poor tree. Killed for a ridiculous purpose.”


On Sunday following the backlash over the tree’s removal, the office of Mayor Sandy Stimpson released a public apology. The following statement comes from the mayor’s chief of staff, Colby Cooper:

“In preparing for this event, I worked closely with the advance team. In an effort to make sure every detail was covered and the expectations of the President-Elect’s team were exceeded, I became overzealous. I now know there are citizens who are upset and offended that a tree from a City park was used as part of the decorations for the event. I accept full responsibility for having this done.”

On Monday, Cooper promised to pay to replace the tree that was cut down and said the “tree used will be repurposed.”