Tumbleweed Tree: Did You Know?

Tumbleweed Tree Lighting Logo

An attraction and tradition like no other, the Chandler Tumbleweed Tree brings families from near and far. Everyone always wants to know the secrets, tricks, and unique features associated with this beloved tree. Now’s your chance to find out and be in the know…

But first, did you know the now internationally famous Tumbleweed Tree seemed more like an afterthought when it first debuted? Records indicate it took three years for the community to think of the Tumbleweed Tree as the pièce de résistance of Chandler’s holiday decor. Most of the excitement at the time passed over the Tumbleweed Tree itself. The real buzz-maker was actually the town’s light pole decorations, which featured 80 cotton boll wreaths mounted on every light pole in downtown and along Arizona Avenue.

  • Chandler is the only city in the southwestern United States that has a Tumbleweed Tree.
  • The method of construction has changed slightly over the years, and the tree has changed height and width. The team of builders updated the tree frame from a wooden pole to a new steel structure. Over the years, the team of builders has found better ways to construct the tree and to create a pleasing shape. In the past, the tree looked more like a haystack than a Christmas tree!
  • The tree’s average size is 33’ tall and 18’ wide at the base.
  • In 1986, Dave Barnes, Park Maintenance Supervisor, constructed the star that perches on top of the tree today. In the past, a gold snowflake was used once!
  • More fire retardant has been added to the paint over the years to protect the tree from fire damage. The tree has burned seven times since 1957.
  • At first, the Streets Department was in charge of hunting for tumbleweeds, but in 1978 the job was designated to the Parks Department.
  • The lighting of the Tumbleweed Tree draws a large crowd, with more than 12,000 expected to watch the Mayor and members of the City Council flip the switch to light this magnificent sight. The ceremony helps to bring our community together to kick off the holidays.
  • In the December 2013 issue of National Geographic magazine, the Tumbleweed Tree was featured with an article and pictures.
Tumbleweed Tree