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Christmas Tree Facts & Trivia

Boy with Christmas Tree

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.

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. The Official Capitol Christmas Tree (‘People’s Tree)  website:

Visit the National Park Service website for a Brief History of the National Christmas Tree (not the same as the ‘People’s Tree’)

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.

In 1856 Franklin Pierce, the 14th President of the United States, was the first President to place a Christmas tree in the White House.

President Coolidge started the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the White House lawn in 1923.

98 percent of all Christmas trees are grown on farms, while only 2% are cut from the wild.  To ensure enough trees for harvest, growers plant one to three seedlings for every tree harvested.  There are more than 15,000 Christmas tree farms in the U.S. (2013)

24.5 million farm-grown Christmas trees and 10.9 million artificial trees were purchased in the United States in 2012.

Christmas trees are grown and harvested in all 50 states.

The oldest record of a decorated Christmas tree came from a 1605 diary found in Strasburg, France (Germany in 1605). The tree was decorated with paper roses, apples and candies.

Thomas Edison's assistant, Edward Johnson, came up with the idea of electric lights for Christmas trees in 1882. Christmas tree lights were first mass-produced in 1890.

Aluminum Tree

The first aluminum Christmas Tree was introduced in 1959 by the Aluminum Specialty Company of Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

The most popular Christmas trees are: Scotch pine, Douglas fir, noble fir, Fraser fir, balsam fir, Virginia pine and white pine.


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