Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

An evergreen tree, festooned with holiday lights is glowing in front of the Broome County Court House, as it has for years.  The difference is, it’s a new tree, hastily planted and accompanied by an apology.

Several county residents contacted Broome County Executive Debra Preston’s office in an uproar after it was discovered the evergreen tree that has stood in front of the courthouse in downtown Binghamton for years and that was always lit for the holidays had been chopped down.

Friday, a tree was quickly uprooted from a county park and the county executive bought lights for the temporary replacement.

Preston says she found out, after the fact, that the previous tree had been removed since it was dying.

The executive says the timing of the removal just before the holidays was very poor and she apologized to concerned citizens.

The temporary replacement tree will be sent back to its original home and a new blue spruce will be planted as a permanent replacement on the courthouse lawn in the spring.