The Zilker Tree stands 155 feet tall and is composed of 39 streamers, each holding 81 multicolored, 25-watt bulbs - totaling 3,309 lights. At the top of the tree, a double star measures 10 feet from point to point. The double star displays 150 frosted bulbs. This unique spiral pattern of lights was created by City of Austin electricians. At its circumference, the tree measures 380 feet. The diameter is 120 feet. The base of the tree is made up of 19 utility poles, each 14 feet tall, arranged in a circle around the Moonlight Tower. On December 10, 1967, the first tree was lighted by Mayor Pro Tem Mrs. Emma Long. In subsequent years this honor has been awarded to the young winner of a city-wide tree art contest.
The Zilker Holiday Tree is sponsored by the Trail of Lights Foundation.
The tree is installed, produced and managed by multiple City of Austin Departments. They include Austin Energy, Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Austin Resource Recovery and Austin Police Department who provide in kind services that keep the display available to the citizens of Austin.