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The Capitol Christmas Tree

Boy with Christmas Tree

The 2021 Capitol Christmas Tree comes from the Mad River Ranger District in Six Rivers National Forest in California. 'Sugar Bear' is am 84 foot white fir and will adorn the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.  The Mad River Ranger District was impacted in 2020 by the largest wildfire in California history, with almost 160,000 acres destroyed, which is about 50% of the total district.      The tree, Sugar Bear' will be decorated with thousands of handcrafted ornaments form the people of California.  It will be lit in early December by the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in a time-honored tradition in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service.

In 1970, the Capitol Architect asked the U.S. Forest Service to provide a Christmas tree. Since then, a different national forest has been chosen each year to provide ‘The People’s Tree’ for the Capitol building lawn.  A history of the ‘Capitol Christmas Tree’ tradition and ceremonies may be found on the Architect of the Capitol website: [ https://www.aoc.gov/what-we-do/programs-ceremonies/capitol-christmas-tree ]

Visit the National Park Service website for a Brief History of the National Christmas Tree (not the same as the ‘People’s Tree’). The ‘National Christmas Tree’ is a living tree planted on The Ellipse, south of the White House.

The 2020 Capitol Christmas Tree comes from near Montrose, Colorado in the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests. It is a 55-foot-tall Engelmann spruce.

The 2019 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, the 'People's Tree', is a 60 foot Blue Spruce from Questa Ranger District in the Carson National Forest. New Mexico.  Seventy smaller companion trees will also be sent to our nation’s capital to decorate government buildings and public spaces.  This is the fourth U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree to come from the Southwestern Region of USDA Forest Service. Two were from New Mexico - an Engelmann Spruce from the Santa Fe NF in 2005 and a Blue Spruce from Carson NF in 1991.

A 82 foot Noble Fir tree from Willamette National Forest in Oregon will decorate the nation's Capitol during the holidays as the official 2018 'People's Tree'.  The tree is 28 inches diameter at breast height, and is estimated to weigh 14,000 to 16,000 pounds.  Oregon also supplied the 'People's Tree' in 2002, a 70-foot Douglas fir from Umpqua National Forest.

A 79 foot Engelmann Spruce tree from Kootenai National Forest in Montana will grace the lawn of the Capitol building as the official 2017 'People's Tree'.  The Kootenai National Forest also provided 'The People's Tree' in 1989.

An 74-foot Lutz spruce from the Chugach National Forest in Alaska was the 2015 Christmas tree for the U.S. Capitol. For 50 years a tree has appeared on the West Lawn, and the U.S. Forest Service has provided a different “People’s Tree” each year since 1970.

An 88-foot white spruce from the Chippewa National Forest in Minnesota was the 2014 Christmas tree for the U.S. Capitol.

The 2013 Capitol Christmas tree, an 88-foot Engelmann spruce, was selected from Colville National Forest near Newport, Washington.
 

 

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