Macy’s Great Tree leaves a great mess

Workers finally removed Macy’s Great Tree from its precarious perch atop the Lenox Square department store Wednesday night but a massive clean-up continues.

The 60-foot white pine dangled over a third-story glass facade for much of the day after a crane used to remove it buckled and collapsed. Crews had to remove the tree limb by limb, finishing the job around 7:30 p.m.

The fallen tree caused considerable damage inside, puncturing the roof above the third-floor men’s department, which is closed indefinitely. Macy’s other departments reopened Wednesday night.

“We are in the process of assessing the damage and investigating the cause of the incident,” said Macy’s spokeswoman Melissa Goff.

Channel 2 Action News reported Wednesday that the store sustained extensive water damage due a broken sprinkler system.

Fortunately, the tree collapsed prior to the store’s opening and, according to Goff, no employees or customers were harmed.

The incident was the second mishap in three years involving the icnonic tree.

In 2011, the trunk of a 60-foot white pine tree cracked before it could be hoisted to the top of the store and a back-up tree had to be cut down and delivered.

The lighting of the tree is a Thanksgiving Day tradition in Atlanta dating back 64 years, when it was first erected atop the downtown Rich’s department store.

—Staff photographer John Spink and staff writer Mike Morris contributed to this article.