Perfect Colorado tree sought for U.S. Capitol

July 9, 2012 at 4:53 PM
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo., July 9 (UPI) -- Officials in Colorado said they are identifying candidate trees to send to Washington to become next December's U.S. Capitol Christmas tree.

Scott Fitzwilliams, supervisor of the White River National Forest, said Colorado hasn't sent a tree to the Capitol since 2000 and he has never before been in charge of the task, leading him to want to "dive under my desk" when the news came in, The Denver Post reported Monday.

"A lot goes into it," Fitzwilliams said. "You think you just put a tree on a truck and send it to Washington. But you can't just chop a tree down and let it fall ... It's a lot of pomp and circumstance, and it's very expensive."

Fitzwilliams said he and U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., are identifying 10 to 12 candidate trees for the U.S. Capitol architect to look at next month. The tree will be specially cared for until it is chopped down Nov. 1 and taken on a cross-country tour including stops in Texas, Pennsylvania and the Carolinas.

"Sometimes, I think it's just a tree," Fitzwilliams said. "But it's a very big deal. It's part of a tradition that's been going on for a long time."

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