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RE: Topping out steel structures with a tree

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Title: Topping out steel structures with a tree
I don't know how the practice got started, and I'm not sure of the exact significance of the tree, but I have been told that this is done only when no major injuries (or even deaths) have occurred during construction.
-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Meyer [mailto:PMeyer(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 1999 4:53 PM
To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)'
Subject: Topping out steel structures with a tree

I've been asked why ironworkers place an evergreen (Xmas?) tree at the top of a steel structure once the final erection is completed.  Any folklorists out there?  My copy of "Steel Beams and Iron Men" just says that no one knows how the tradition got started.  Surely someone must know?  I have a niece counting on me for this.

Paul Meyer, P. Eng.
Senior Structural Engineer