Nottingham

Man's Christmas tree with 21,000 lights inspires US visit

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Media captionMan wraps tree in 21,000 lights for Christmas

A man who has a Christmas-themed tree with 21,000 lights - inspired by a similar one on a US freeway - has flown to meet the man behind it.

Andy Black, from Nottingham, decorated his 24ft plum tree in his front garden after watching a YouTube video of "Jerry's Tree".

The brightly-lit oak tree is a landmark on the side of a freeway in Minnesota.

In November, Mr Black travelled to meet its creator, Jerry Lageson, and said it was better than he imagined.

Mr Black and his wife Lisa, of Basford, came across the video of the famous tree while looking for Christmas decoration ideas.

'Connection with Jerry'

"We've long been admirers of the way Americans wrap lights around the trees and decorate their houses at Christmas," he said.

"We just wanted something different.

"I've watched [Jerry's] video so many times, I feel I have a connection with Jerry. He pulls on a few chords in your heart."

Image copyright Owatonna People’s Press
Image caption The tree decorators met in Minnesota in November

Mr Lageson started decorating his tree seven years ago and now has 45,000 lights wrapped around it.

In his YouTube video, he said: "I kind of did it for the kids too because they see something like this and it sticks with them their whole lives.

"Life is not about the breaths you take, but more about the moments that take your breath away and that's my focus on this tree."

Each year, Mr Lageson receives hundreds of letters and cards from people who have admired the tree.

Image copyright Lisa Black
Image caption Andy Black has had to use a cherry picker to reach the top of the tree to add lights

One of those is Mr Black, who wrote asking to meet Mr Lageson and to see the tree in person.

"It was quite a remarkable trip and well worth it," said Mr Black.

"It's very difficult to express what the tree is like until you are stood in front of it. I was completely blown away."

Mr Black has spent £1,150 on buying the lights for his tree and said he may add more next year.

"All the neighbours and people passing by have commented on it, and it puts smiles on people's faces," he said.

"It is our gift to the community and if a few lights on a tree can do that, then it has achieved what we set out to do."

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