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U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree harvested in Willamette National Forest

"It's just amazing watching people come together for an event like this," Sweet Home District Ranger Nikki Swanson said.

Posted: Nov 2, 2018 7:59 PM
Updated: Nov 2, 2018 8:06 PM

SWEET HOME, Ore. -- A tree grown in the Willamette National Forest is now making a 3,000 mile journey to the U.S. Capitol.

The tree has been cut down and loaded on a truck, and it will soon be zig-zagging across the country, reversing the path of the Oregon Trail.

This year's Capitol Christmas Tree wasn't easy to get to. The 80 foot noble fir was tucked deep inside the Willamette National Forest in Linn County.

"We the people of Sweet Home are proud to share this majestic piece of our land," Mayor Greg Mahler said. 

The tree was cut down Friday morning by U.S. Forest Hand Crew Supervisor Jonah Gladney.

"Coming from the Pacific Northwest means a lot to me," said Glandey. "It's very cool to help to be apart of all this coordination and preparations that's gone on and share this tree with everyone in the nation."

This is only the second time a tree has been selected from Oregon, and it the first time for a Noble Fir. In 2002, a Douglas Fir was selected from the Umpqua National Forest.

"The second tree to ever come from Oregon, the land of trees, the second tree coming from my backyard, this is awesome," Linn County Commissioner Will Tucker said. 

Forest officials have been working for two years to make this day possible, and getting to the tree is only one hurdle. Oregonians will also contribute 10,000 handmade ornaments and 70 smaller companion trees.

"All of the people of Oregon, from kindergartners to corporations, so many people pulled together to make it happen," Sweet Home District Ranger Nikki Swanson said. "If any one wouldn't have been involved, it wouldn't have happened. It's just amazing watching people come together for an event like this."

The theme for the Capitol Christmas Tree this year is "Find your Trail!" The tree will travel eastward on the reverse path of the Oregon Trail to Washington D.C.

It will begin that journey on Nov. 9, making stops along the way starting in Sweet Home.

For the full schedule and route, click here.

For additional information, click here.

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