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Photo gallery: 'Big Piney' rises as The Gateway Christmas tree

Published November 14, 2013 8:37 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

"Big Piney" has been close to the hearts of the Smith family of Cottonwood Heights for years. But the 50-foot-tall tree has grown too close to their home, raising fears it could topple over. On Tuesday, the tree arrived at The Gateway in Salt Lake City, where it will stand as the centerpiece of the shopping center's holiday decor.

The Smiths said they are thrilled "Big Piney" will be used as a Christmas tree. Every Christmas Eve for last 20 years, Santa has hidden a pickle ornament in the tree. On Christmas morning, the Smith kids and grandkids would race to find the pickle and win a special prize left by Santa.

The family plans to donate the cost they would have spent to cut down the tree to the Autism Council of Utah. The donation will made in the name of their 15-year-old son, who has autism.