Oregon to provide 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree from Sweet Home Ranger District

Homepage of CapitolChristmasTree.com

SWEET HOME, Ore. - Oregon will provide the 2018 United States Capitol Christmas Tree, to be cut from the Sweet Home Ranger District of the Willamette National Forest.

"A gift from the Willamette National Forest and the State of Oregon to the people of the United States, the tree will be displayed on the West Lawn of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., with a public tree-lighting ceremony in early December 2018," organizers said a press release Friday.

The USDA Forest Service has provided the Capitol Christmas Tree every year since 1970.

Oregon is the nation's leading producer of commercial Christmas trees.

The last time Oregon provided the Capitol Christmas Tree was in 2002. The tree came from the Umpqua National Forest.

In addition to providing the tree, Oregonians will be asked to help make 10,000 ornaments to decorate the tree.

The first ornament-making party will be Saturday, Jan. 20, at 1 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club, 890 18th Ave., in Sweet Home, Oregon.

"The theme for the 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree is 'Find Your Trail!' in recognition of two 2018 anniversaries: the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act, and the 175th commemoration of the Oregon Trail," organizers said.

“We are thrilled to be delivering the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree," said Nikki Swanson, Sweet Home District Ranger. "We invite all Oregonians to be a part of this special experience throughout 2018 — from making an ornament to exploring the Willamette National Forest with family and friends — in search of the perfect tree to send to Washington, D.C.”

“We are very honored to have been chosen to provide the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, and to share some of our state’s incredible beauty with the rest of America,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown. “Majestic, towering conifers have long stood as an icon of Oregon’s magnificent forests. This tree will symbolize our rich natural resources, our deep Native American heritage, and the people of Oregon, who are known for their independent spirit, innovation and love for our state’s diverse landscapes.”

Oregonians are invited to help find the right tree for the job.

"To submit a potential candidate tree, GPS the location, snap a photo, and send the submission to capitolchristmastree2018@gmail.com, or drop your information off at the Sweet Home Ranger District Office," organizers said. "The perfect tree is 65 to 85 feet in height with a conical shape that is visually pleasing from all angles. The tree must reside on U.S. Forest Service land in the Sweet Home Ranger District, preferably close to a road that will allow for access for a semi-truck and cranes to harvest the tree. Submission deadline: May 2018."

Then in November, "a modern-day wagon train carrying the Christmas tree and ornaments will begin its eastward journey from Sweet Home, following the path of the Oregon Trail in reverse. The wagon train will make stops in a variety of communities across Oregon and the country before arriving in Washington, D.C."

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