When eleven-year-old Charlie Roebecker befriends Chief Goodyear, a homeless evacuee from Hurricane Katrina, he is not expecting any miracles. As Charlie says, "You can do only small things to fix a big problem." Chief Goodyear is an arborist—a fixer of trees. His arrival in Charlie’s town starts the boy on a mission to help the homeless stranger get a new start. As Christmas nears, Charlie's family makes their annual trip to a tree lot. Charlie brings home a scrawny little pine with a crooked trunk and no top—The Puny—which he plans to decorate and give to the Chief. Charlie's sister calls it "a sick, midget tree puked from the forest." His best friend finds it creepy looking. But Charlie knows better. He has the imagination to see what the little tree might become. And in the hands of an arborist—who knows what could happen!