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Capitol Christmas Tree Already En Route

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The 2007 Capitol Christmas tree, looking majestic in front of the Capitol. The tree for 2011 is currently en route.
The 2007 Capitol Christmas tree, looking majestic in front of the Capitol. The tree for 2011 is currently en route.

The U.S. Capitol Christmas tree is already on its way from a Northern California forest to the District.

It was 15 degrees above in the Stanislaus National Forest Saturday morning as volunteers trekked through a half-foot of snow to cut down the 65-foot-tall white fir that will serve as "The People's Tree." Officials say it was selected based on its shape as well as its fullness and color.

Maria Benech, with the Capitol Christmas Tree project was at the cutting ceremony: "The Tuolumne Band of the Me-wuk Indians did our blessing -- they do it before the sun comes over the mountain as is their tradition. It was an amazingly moving ceremony they sang and blessed the tree and blessed the people there on site and blessed our safe journey for the tree."

A climber actually scaled 35 feet up into the tree and cut it at that level, so they could get the 65 feet they wanted into a double-flatbed truck with a custom cradle for support. It's fitted with a rubber bladder that is filled with fresh water daily. 

Until the tree arrives into D.C. as scheduled on November 28, it is under 24-hour federal protection. The tree doesn't take a starring role until December 6, when it is the center of a lighting ceremony at the Capitol.

Those curious about the location of this celebrity tree can track its progress on Google Maps or follow the official Twitter feed.


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