SPOKANE, Wash.--The National Christmas Tree will be spending two hours in Spokane on Tuesday.
The official U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree for 2013 comes from the Colville National Forest in northeast Washington State.
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The tree will come to Spokane on November 5 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. as part of its tour. The tree will then go onto a 26 city tour visiting communities across the country. It will arrive at the Capitol in time for Thanksgiving.
There will be a brief welcoming event for the tree in Downtown Spokane from 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. under the INB Breezeway. The public is encouraged to attend.
The tree is an 88 foot tall Engelmann spruce. The tree is growing on the Newport-Sullivan Ranger District in Pend Oreille County. It will be harvested on November 1 and wrapped up for its journey across the country.
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The spruce will travel with other trees designated for offices around the Capitol. The National tree will be placed in the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol and will be lit nightly from dusk to 11:00 p.m. throughout the holiday season.
The tree will be lowered into 5-foot deep hole and 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.
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The tree from Colville was selected through a lengthy process. Forest Service employees were asked to indentify candidate trees in the Colville National Forest. Nearly 40 trees were suggested. A forestry technician narrowed the list down to ten trees that met all the requirements. Some of the requirements included height, fullness, branch uniformity and site logistics.
The Superintendent of grounds at the U.S. Capitol then visited the candidate trees. He also 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,” Superintendent of U.S. Capitol grounds Ted Bechtol said.
Forest Service personnel then met with the driver of the 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree to make sure that the truck and 80-foot long trailer could navigate the forest roads to and from the tree’s location.
The theme of Washington State’s Capitol Christmas Tree is Sharing Washington’s Good Nature.