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Thirty-five-foot tree goes from dream to reality

Tree built from drill pipe includes a number of meaningful elements

ST. PAUL - The plans, dimensions and details of a 35-foot Christmas tree built from drill pipe came to Brian Kotowich in a dream. 

Kotowich, who owns and operates BPK Mechanical, located south of St. Paul and east on Armistice Road, admits the idea was a little crazy. After dreaming about the tree for about a month, and seeing it lit up in his mind, Kotowich simply couldn't leave the idea alone. 

"It was weirder than weird," he acknowledges, adding, his wife thought he was crazy too when he told her about the idea. After drawing up the plans on a piece of paper, Kotowich and his team got to work.

It took 35 hours, but the tree was complete by mid-December. It includes about 4,800 Christmas lights, and Kotowich also worked in some meaningful details. The design includes the four elements - earth, wind, fire and water - and also pays tribute to the 12 apostles.

The tree also includes the word 'Hope.'

When asked if it was tricky to stand the tree up, Kotowich says it wasn't, and that somehow a bend in the portion along the side that represents water curved perfectly to the lay of the land - helping the tree stand tall.

Kotowich says he plans to leave the tree lit up for another week, and invites people to drive by to see it. The tree is visible from Armistice Road, shortly after turning off Highway 811 south.