This year’s National Christmas Tree is a 74-foot spruce from Alaska’s Chugach National Forest. The tree is traveling across the U.S. on its way to Washington, D.C., and as of Sunday, was in Indiana.
In addition to the spruce, which will be placed on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol, seven smaller “companion” trees have been selected from the Ketchikan-Misty Fiords Ranger District of the Tongass National Forest.
According to a U.S. Forest Service news release, the seven shore pines were found in the Shoal Cove Road area on Revilla Island. They were shipped out on Saturday, Nov. 14th.
The companion trees will be used to decorate offices of Alaska’s Congressional Delegation
and other offices in Washington, D.C.
The tradition of the National Christmas Tree began in 1964, when a live tree was planted
on the Capitol lawn. That tree lived three years before succumbing to root damage, according to the Capitol Christmas Tree website.
In 1970, the capitol architect asked the U.S. Forest Service to provide another Christmas tree. Since then, a tree has been donated by a different National Forest each year.
Because this year’s trees are from Alaska, Alaskan children and community organizations have been asked to provide about 4,000 ornaments for all the trees.