Pennsylvania city to replace 'sad' Christmas tree

(CNN) -- The 50-foot Christmas tree decorating downtown Reading, Pa., is supposed to spread holiday cheer, but instead it's making some residents unhappy.

"It looks sad," City Council President Francis Acosta told CNN affiliate WFMZ. "Everybody's calling it a Charlie Brown tree."

The puny Norwood spruce has lost many of its branches, even though it's not yet December, and it's sparsely decorated with a simple string of lights.

"It's nasty, it's pathetic, and they shouldn't have it here," said one passer-by. "If there was a squirrel looking for a place to live in the winter, it wouldn't even go into the tree."

To watch the video connected with this story, click on this link...

Residents are so disappointed in the holiday decor that they've mobilized to do something about it: A group, Christmas for Downtown Reading, has raised $1,000 from business and community donations toward purchasing a replacement.

Acosta, who is a member, says he'd like to raise $5,000 to purchase not only a new tree but decorations for this year and next year. According to Acosta, part of the remaining money will go to Reading's United Way.

"The city deserves having a beautiful, good-spirit Christmas, and we're gonna offer that to the city," he said.

City officials say that the original tree should be relocated to City Park by Tuesday.