The tree is 650 metres (2,130 ft) high and 350 m wide at its base and consists of 3000 multi-colored lights and 8.5 kilometres of electrical cable, placed all the way up the slopes of Monte Ingino, which towers above the city. The illumination can be seen up to 50 kilometres (30 miles) away. 
This tradition started when people of Gubbio decided to celebrate Christmas in a different way and in 1981 the first tree was illuminated. Each year, on the eve of the feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 7), the Christmas tree is lit up. Since then the tradition is repeated annually thanks to a special committee consisting of volunteers giving up their free time for about three months every year.