It had been rumored, but we couldn’t find anyone to tell us for sure, if this memorial tree to departed pets really exists in Central Park. If you ask the locals who have walked the park for years, they are quick to say that they know every inch of the park and there is no such tree.
But as luck would have it on a recent walk, we spotted something unusual going on in the distance. A small group of people hovering around a tree, busy at work while their pets romped in the leaves at their feet. This was it – the secret Central Park Christmas Tree in memory of pets.
Photo by Lynn Lieberman
Most of the ornaments are laminated photos with the names of the dearly beloved and a few words describing how they are very much not forgotten. Each tied to the tree with ribbons and bows and each just as carefully removed and stored away at the end of the holiday season only to reappear the following year along with all the new ornaments added.
There is very little written on this tradition apart from a 2010 Examiner piece, “Hidden Christmas Tree in Central Park Memorializes Cherished Pets.” The group prefers to keep the location secret, so we won’t publicly publish it, but look for it on your next foray into Central Park!