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Pining for the Perfect Tree?

November 26, 1998|MARNELL JAMESON

No time to decorate a tree this year? Not to worry. You can buy one all dressed up and ready to go and help a worthy cause too. At this year's Festival of the Trees, an annual fund-raiser to benefit Torrance Memorial Medical Center, 50 elaborately decorated trees will go on the auction block and are expected to fetch from $400 to $4,000 per pine. (Yes, that includes delivery.)

The trees will be on display from Dec. 3 to 6 at Wilson Park in Torrance. The fantasy forest, which now draws 10,000 visitors, will feature trees in every theme you can imagine and some you can't, from the predictable--angels, winter, Santa, Victorian holiday and bears--to the whimsical--sports, castles, sailing, gardening (hoe, hoe, hoe), Beanie Babies and an M&M tree. You'll also see feats of engineering. Last year the festival featured an upside-down tree, and this festival promises a tree that will have a train running through its branches.

There's also an annual favorite, full of holiday spirits, literally. Festival Chairwoman Renee Henry is bringing back the popular wine bottle tree, which usually goes for around $2,000, but, hey, think of the wine value alone.

To bid on a tree, you can attend the $50-a-plate dinner and auction on Dec. 4. But if spending four figures is more than your entire Christmas budget, you can view the trees for a lot less ($3 for grown-ups, less for kids), have a chance to win a tree and shop for less expensive versions that sell for around $100.

For more information, call (310) 517-4606.

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