For the first time in 12 years, Colorado will supply the Christmas tree to adorn the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Earlier today, federal and state officials announced that the tree will come from the Blanco Ranger District north of Glenwood Springs, in the White River National Forest. The tree will be selected in the coming months and cut November 1.
The tree will need to be 65 feet tall and perfectly shaped, without dead branches or broken needles. It must also be very healthy in order to maintain its perfect appearance during the 60 day journey from Colorado to Washington D.C., stopping in Texas, Pennsylvania, and North and South Carolina. Transportation will be donated by Mack trucks and gas will be donated by the Association of Convenience Stores.
Decorations for the tree will be made by Colorado schoolchildren and a child from Colorado will get the chance to flip the switch that lights the tree in the Capitol. The theme surrounding this years tree will be “Celebrating Our Great Outdoors,” and will be used as an opportunity to educate about the conservation of national forests and the importance of maintaining them. These educational opportunities will be organized by the State of Colorado, Choose Outdoors (a Colorado based nonprofit organization), and the Forest Service.
The last time Colorado donated a tree for the Capitol was in 2000 when a Colorado Blue Spruce was selected from Pike National Forest. Before that, in 1990, an Engelmann spruce came from the Routt National Forest.