In 1983, the same year that David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear on national television, another amazing illusion was devised in Austin, Texas. The Fantastic Kent Cummins created a way to magically produce a real tree on top of the La Mansion hotel as part of their topping ceremony. The production impressed everyone there and gained attention from the press.
Here is video from this historic event.
There is a black-out during part of the video. The flash pots that produced the smoke momentarily interfered with the video camera that was covering the performance.
Kent shares some behind the scenes details in his podcast.