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Christmas tree honoring century-long partnership with Nova Scotia will arrive in Boston Common Friday

The annual "Tree for Boston" was readied for shipment to Boston from Halifax, Nova Scotia on Monday.
The annual "Tree for Boston" was readied for shipment to Boston from Halifax, Nova Scotia on Monday.Andrew Vaughan/Associated Press

A Christmas tree representing a century-long partnership between the City of Boston and Nova Scotia will arrive via police escort at the Boston Common Friday morning, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced Thursday.

Every year, the Canadian province sends the city a festive tree as a symbol of thanks for providing emergency assistance following the Halifax Explosion over a century ago, according to a statement from the mayor.

In 1917, Boston provided Nova Scotia’s capital, Halifax, with help after a French munitions ship exploded following a collision with another vessel, destroying much of the north end of the city and killing more than 1,800 people.


Due to COVID-19, the tree was shipped on a container vessel Wednesday, instead of taking the usual road route through Canada, Maine, and New Hampshire.

At 11 a.m., the 45-foot white spruce will arrive at the Boston Common, adjacent to the Visitor Information Center, the statement said. This year’s tree was donated by Heather and Tony Sampson of West Bay, Richmond, Nova Scotia.

The tree is dedicated “to healthcare workers to honor both Boston’s response after the Halifax Explosion and those who are working on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement said.

Nova Scotia is also sending four additional smaller trees to donate to local charities.

Matt Berg can be reached at matthew.berg@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mattberg33.