Lighting of the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, Washington D.C.
Please click this link to be taken to the CSPAN video.
Each year since 1970, it has become an honor for one National Forest in the U.S. to be selected to provide the Capitol Tree. The appointed National Forest, in turn, engages help from diverse partners throughout its respective State. The opportunity to provide the Capitol Christmas Tree becomes a state-wide celebration and civic event, leaving a lasting impression on all who are fortunate enough to be involved. This year, our very own White River National Forest (Blanco Ranger District, Meeker) was selected for this honor!
The Forest Service recommends 8 to 10 trees to the superintendent of the capitol grounds, who makes the final selection. Details including the shape and fullness of the tree, the tree color and foliage condition, and species characteristics of needle retention are all taken into account. Of course, access to the tree for ease of cutting, loading, and transporting are also considered.
It is estimated that the tree selected will be approximately 60 feet tall. Additional “companion trees” will be harvested nearby and delivered to the Washington D.C. area for placement in congressional and senate offices, as well as in the United States Supreme Court.
The U. S. Capitol Christmas Tree will travel across the nation, making frequent stops in communities on its way to Washington, D. C. The national tour will take about 12 days. School children across the state of Colorado will have the opportunity to make the 5,000 ornaments used to decorate the tree. One lucky student from the state will be selected for trip to officially light the tree during the annual lighting ceremony.
In addition to supplying the 60 – 90 foot Capitol Tree, Colorado residents will supply 5,000 ornaments for the outdoor tree as well as 1,000 ornaments for the indoor companion trees…