Chainsaws were buzzing in Northern California this weekend. A 65-foot white fir from the Stanislaus National Forest in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains was selected as the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree.
The tree was selected for its shape, fullness, and color. Crews found the tree covered in snow Saturday morning. It was 18 degrees with 4-inches of snow on the ground and more coming.
Before it begins its 4,500-mile trek across the U.S., the tree will be encased in Plexiglas so people can see it as it embarks on a nationwide tour. There will also be a bladder bag full of water to keep the tree fresh and hydrated.
The tree is slated to arrive in Washington D.C. on November 28th. The lighting ceremony will be held December 6th with House Speaker John Boehner and a child from California doing the honors. 5,000 handmade ornaments from residents of California will bedeck the boughs of the Capitol Christmas tree.
The tradition of the Capitol Tree began in 1964. A Douglas fir was planted on the grounds of the Capitol Building, but it was damaged by a storm 3 years later. In 1970, a different state began donating a tree each year to stand on the western lawn of the Capitol building. This is the 4th tree from California to grace the Capitol.
Here it is, in all its glory, on a parade through Sonora, CA.