On display for two hours
Jen Knutson, 509.684.7254
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 12:46 p.m.
The official U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree for 2013 comes from the Colville National Forest in northeast Washington State.
As part of a pre-arranged tour, the tree will spend two hours in Spokane on November 5th from 3-5 p.m. It will then embark on a 26-state tour visiting communities across the country before arriving at the Capital in time for Thanksgiving.
In Spokane a brief welcoming event will be held from 3 – 3:30 p.m. downtown under the INB Breezeway. The public is encouraged to attend.
The tree is a majestic 88-foot tall Engelmann spruce growing on the Newport-Sullivan Ranger District in Pend Oreille County. It will be harvested November 1st and wrapped for its journey.
The official tree will travel with companion trees designated for offices around the Capital. In Washington, D.C. the tree will grace the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol and will be lit nightly from dusk to 11:00 p.m. throughout the holiday season.
Forest Service employees and the public were asked to identify candidate trees in the Colville National Forest. Nearly 40 trees were turned in for consideration. After further review of each tree, forestry technician Cally Davidson narrowed the list down to 10 trees that met all the requirements, including height, fullness, branch uniformity and site logistics.
Ted Bechtol, Superintendent of grounds at the U.S. Capitol, then visited the Colville National Forest to look at all the candidate trees. He evaluated trees in Stevens, Ferry and Pend Oreille Counties. “All of the candidate trees are excellent specimens, but the chosen tree has the exact right fullness and width needed for the Capitol grounds,” Bechtol said.
Forest Service personnel then met with the driver of the 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree, Duane Brusseau, to make sure that the truck and 80-foot long trailer could navigate the forest roads to and from the tree's location.
The tree will first travel in Washington State with stops in several cities, including Colville, Newport, Republic and Spokane, before beginning its nation-wide tour that includes approximately 14 stops across the U.S. before arriving in Washington, D.C. on November 25th.
The theme of Washington State's Capitol Christmas Tree is “Sharing Washington's Good Nature.” In late November when the tree is delivered to the U.S. Capitol it will be lowered into 5-foot deep hole, and then decorated with lights and thousands of handcrafted ornaments made by Washingtonians from across the State. At an official ceremony in December, the Speaker of the House and one Washington State student, will light the tree and showcase Washington State's historical, cultural and natural beauty.
For more information on the 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree, please visit the Capitol Christmas Tree website, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Jen Knutson at 509.684.7254. Follow the 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree on Twitter and Facebook.