Property: State Holiday Tree, Lansing

Given the recent pattern of unseasonal temperatures, the lighted State Tree may be the single constant reminder of the current seasonal spirit. Erected at the terminus of Michigan Avenue near Capitol Avenue, the spruce and the oversized red baubles in the Washington Square traffic circle remain an annual source of holiday cheer. Like most of its predecessors, this year’s State Tree was harvested in the Upper Peninsula.

Despite the message of peace and rebirth represented by the season, the holiday tree frequently sparks a timeless argument. The debate does not involve the secular or the spiritual traditions of the season, but the choice regarding the superiority of artificial versus natural trees. Few disagreements generate so much heat while offering so little light.

Fans of artificial trees prefer the ease of installation and storage, plus the convenience of no maintenance. Those with a preference for natural trees desire the undeniably seasonal scent. While watering remains a concern, a simple rule thumb dictates that the tree stand hold a quart of water for every inch of diameter at the tree’s base. Both groups claim advantage based on environmental concerns, but the results are inconclusive, particularly when natural trees are procured from local farms.

“Eye candy of the Week” is our weekly look at some of the nicer properties in Lansing. It rotates each with Eyesore of the Week. If you have a suggestion, please e-mail or call Berl Schwartz at 999-5061.