2013 US Capital Christmas Tree Selected from Pend Oreille County, Washington

Colville, WA –Colville National Forest Supervisor Laura Jo West is excited to announce that the 2013 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is a majestic 88-foot tall Engelmann spruce growing on the Newport-Sullivan Lake Ranger District in Pend Oreille County.   This tree will grace the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. in December 2013.  “It’s a very beautiful tree, one that the people of this great state will be proud to send to our nation’s capital,” said West.

Forest Service employees and the public were asked to identify candidate trees.  Nearly 40 trees were turned in for consideration.  After further review of each tree, forestry technician Cally Davidson narrowed the list down to 10 trees that met all the requirements, including height, fullness, branch uniformity and site logistics.

Last month, Ted Bechtol, Superintendent of grounds at the U.S. Capitol, visited the Colville National Forest to look at all the candidate trees identified.  He evaluated trees in Stevens, Ferry and Pend Oreille Counties.  Bechtol shared, “All of the candidate trees are excellent specimens, but the chosen tree has the fullness and width needed for the Capitol grounds.”

Forest Service personnel recently met with the driver of the 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree, Duane Brusseau, to make sure that the truck and 80-foot long trailer could navigate the forest roads to and from the tree’s location.  Brusseau was delighted to report that the tree Bechtol selected can be accessed by the 100-foot-long truck-trailer combination.

The tree will travel in Washington State with stops in several cities, including Colville, Newport, Republic and Spokane, before beginning its nation-wide tour that includes approximately 14 stops across the U.S. before arriving in Washington, D.C. on November 25th.  The final route will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Capitol Christmas Tree will visit and leave Colville from the Colville National Forest on Tuesday, November 5 from 9 am to 12 noon.  Make plans to visit Downtown Colville to sign the banner to send the tree on its way.  There will also be pictures with Santa, Smokey Bear and the Tree and more! Stops are also scheduled in Newport and Spokane, WA.


In late November, the tree will be delivered to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. where it will be lowered into 5-foot deep hole, and decorated with lights and thousands of handcrafted ornaments made by Washingtonians from across the State.  In December, the Speaker of the House and one Washington State student, will light the tree and showcase Washington State’s historical, cultural and natural beauty.

Throughout the holiday season, the tree will be lit at dusk and enjoyed by people from around world.  The theme of Washington State’s Capitol Christmas Tree is “Sharing Washington’s Good Nature.”  For more information on the 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree, please visit www.capitolchristmastree.com, contact jenniferknutson@fs.fed.us, or call Jen Knutson at 509-684-7254.  Follow the 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree on Twitter and Facebook.

Stephanie Sims, Executive Director

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