Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012, 9:28 pm

KONE's Christmas tree dressed, ready for the holiday

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By Dawn Neuses,

More photos from this shoot
Photo: Paul Colletti
KONE employees watch as the company's 40-foot Christmas tree is hoisted to the roof on the new eight-story KONE building in downtown Moline on Wednesday morning, Nov. 14, 2012. The artificial tree has almost 6,000 lights and is much larger than the trees that were lifted to the roof of the old KONE tower on the riverfront in past years.
More photos from this shoot
Photo: Paul Colletti
The 40-foot tall artificial Christmas tree rests on the roof of the KONE building in downtown Moline on Wednesday, November 14, 2012.
More photos from this shoot
Photo: Paul Colletti
KONE employees watch from inside as the 40-foot tall Christmas tree is prepared for its ascent to the roof of the KONE building in downtown Moline on Wednesday, November 14, 2012.
MOLINE --The traditional hoisting of a Christmas tree to the top of KONE's Moline offices took less than a minute Wednesday, but the work to get it there took many, many days.

Shortly after 10 a.m., a 40-feet artificial tree was placed on the roof of the eight-story KONE Centre, the new home for the company's North American Operational Headquarters.

KONE used to top its former building a few blocks away with a live tree, but this year it'is artificial, roughly half the height of the eight-story building and has a 20-feet base.

The tree was delivered in 177 boxes and its framework filled two shipping containers. In total, it has 355 branches, 83,000 branch tips and 5,910 clear LED lights.

"As anyone who has assembled an artificial tree knows, you have to bend out all of those branches and it is a long tedious process," said Dave Bisby, maintenance manager for Financial District Properties, which developed KONE Centre.

He and other Financial District Property staffers, with teams of KONE volunteers and assistance from Quad City Window Cleaning, started assembling the tree on Nov. 7 and completed it Monday. It will be lighted Saturday during Lighting of the Commons.

"It was a process to assemble the framework and get the branches attached," Mr. Bisby said. "We took extra measures to attach the branches so they will not get caught in a gust of wind and cause the tree to come tumbling down."

Each branch has lights that had to be plugged into the frame. The volunteers took an extra step and secured the lights with tape.

Mr. Bisby said the work this year was not any more difficult than with the live trees in years past. "Over there, we did it so many times, it was second nature to us. This is a new process for us, a new location, and it's a learning experience. We are developing the process as we go along."

When KONE Centre was built, a reinforced platform was placed on the roof specifically to hold a tree. On Tuesday, Financial District Properties had an additional steel base constructed and placed on the platform on Wednesday to further secure the tree.

Cattani Crane hoisted the tree to the roof and iron workers from Industrial Steel Erectors secured it in place.

When the season is over, the tree won't be stored whole or in large pieces. "We have to put in back into the boxes," Mr. Bisby said, adding that it's very difficult to neatly re-pack a Christmas tree.

"We are looking forward to that process as well."