Nova Scotia’s tree for Boston has begun its 1,117-kilometre journey across the border, following a sendoff ceremony in Halifax’s Grand Parade Tuesday morning.

John and Ethel Ann MacPherson of Purlbrook, N.S. are donating their 55-year-old, 13-metre white spruce to Boston this year.

"Our kids used to swing on this tree but now they're fully grown and so is the tree, so we are glad to make it part of this great tradition," said John MacPherson on Monday.

It is the first time in the 43-year history of the tradition that the tree will come from the northern half of the province.

The tree was cut and wrapped at a ceremony in Purlbrook Monday morning before making its way to Halifax.

This year’s tree is dedicated to the memory of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, who passed away last month after a battle with cancer.

"This year's tree for Boston is dedicated to a special man who celebrated this special tradition for 20 years," said Premier Stephen McNeil.

"On behalf of all Nova Scotians, I proudly dedicate this year's tree to the memory of Mayor Thomas Menino, Boston's longest-serving mayor, and proud Nova Scotia supporter."  

Nova Scotia has been sending a Christmas tree to Boston since 1971, to thank the city for its help after the Halifax Explosion in 1917.

The Halifax Explosion claimed about 2,000 lives and left hundreds injured and homeless. Boston was quick to provide medical personnel and supplies.

"We are very grateful to the people of Nova Scotia for their continued generosity," said Boston Mayor Martin Walsh. "The Nova Scotia Christmas tree is a wonderful tradition, symbolizing the strong friendship between Nova Scotia and Boston."

The tree began its journey at 9:15 a.m., making its way from Kearney Lake Road to St. Stephen’s Elementary School, which partnered with an elementary school in Boston to Skype and learn more about the tradition.

The tree then continued through the city’s north end to Grand Parade, where Nova Scotians enjoyed a live musical performed by The Stanfields as they gathered to wish the tree safe travels.

The white spruce is now en route to Boston on a flatbed truck. It will make a quick stop at the Nova Scotia Visitor Information Centre in Amherst for a public viewing and photo opportunity Tuesday afternoon.

It will then make its way through New Brunswick and Maine before heading to Massachusetts.

The tree is slated to arrive at the Boston Common on Nov. 21, ahead of the tree-lighting ceremony on Dec. 4.

The Stanfields will also play at the tree-lighting on the Boston Common.

"We're very excited to be representing Nova Scotia and performing in front of our American friends," said Jon Landry of The Stanfields. "The holidays are about giving back and this celebrated tradition is the perfect example of the spirit of giving."

The province is encouraging Nova Scotians to help search for the perfect tree for Boston for future years.

Anyone who knows of a white or red spruce or balsam fir that is 12 to 15 metres high, is in good shape, and is easy to access can contact their local Natural Resources office.

Follow the tree's journey on Twitter or Facebook.