U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Capitol Christmas Tree visits the BLM in Barstow, California
The official Capitol Christmas Tree celebration began in 1964, when a large Douglas fir was purchased from a Pennsylvania nursery and planted on the grounds of the United States Capitol building. This first live tree was redecorated every year until it was damaged by a storm and died, in 1967. After that time, cut trees were chosen. In fact, in 1968 two trees were tied together to make one large tree! Beginning in 1970 it became a tradition for the tree to come from a different National Forest each year, to be chosen under the supervision of the United States Forest Service. (text continues below)
This year California donated a 65-foot white fir from the Stanislaus National Forest in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. On November 5th, the tree was cut and loaded onto a tractor-trailer truck for its journey of 4,500 miles over Interstate 40 to the nation’s capital. En route the tree made its way through California’s heartland.
Employees of the Barstow Field Office were delighted the morning of November 15th when the truck bearing the Capitol Christmas Tree rolled into their parking lot. The rigs paused long enough for those present to sign the banners draped over the side of the truck and take a few snapshots. The very top of the tree’s perfect green boughs could be seen through a clear section of tarp hinting at the behemoth inside. Holiday cheer warmed the crowd, lingering even after the big-rigs pulled out on their way to the Capitol.
Upon arrival in Washington D.C. the tree will be decorated with 5,000 homemade ornaments made by Californians. It will be lit on December 6 by House Speaker John Boehner and a child from California. At the end of the season, the tree will be mulched and used in the Capitol Gardens after providing light and joy to millions of Americans this holiday season.
- Amy Oechsner, BLM Barstow Field Office, 11/28/11
|Last updated: 12-01-2011|