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Capitol Christmas Tree to be harvested this weekend

This image of the 2009 Capitol Christmas Tree shows the final destination for this year's Tree, being harvested this weekend in Wyoming from the Bridger-Teton NF." (US Forest Service photo by Keith Riggs)

This image of the 2009 Capitol Christmas Tree shows the final destination for this year's Tree, being harvested this weekend in Wyoming from the Bridger-Teton NF." (US Forest Service photo by Keith Riggs)

The 2010 Capitol Christmas Tree will be harvested and prepared for its cross-country journey this weekend. This year’s tree is coming from the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming, the first time the tree has come from Wyoming. The tree, a 67-foot Engelmann Spruce, will be harvested at 8 a.m. local time in Wyoming.

The tradition of the Capitol Christmas Tree dates to 1964, when then-Speaker of the House John McCormack requested a tree be placed and decorated for the Capitol. Since 1970 the Capitol Christmas Tree has been harvested from a national forest with only two exceptions in the past 40 years. The first tree to earn this distinction was from the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia.

After the tree is harvested on Saturday it will be bundled up for travel into the Jackson, Wyoming Town Square. A local celebration is planned for the tree as a community event, and the Northern Arapaho tribe will bless the tree there for its journey. Beginning November 10, the tree will then travel across Wyoming and the nation to Washington, DC with celebration stops in communities all along the way.

The tree is traditionally decorated with ornaments made by residents of the state that contributed the tree. Wyoming has had a statewide push on for these ornaments, with school children and others joining in the effort. The tree is decorated with these and other contributed ornaments, and traditionally lighted on December 9. It remains lighted until New Years Day.

You can follow everything about the tree including a live tracker of its progress on the Tree’s website.

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