Track the Capitol Christmas Tree on Its Journey From Alaska to D.C.
October 28, 2015
The Capitol Christmas Tree is being tracked in real time as it makes it way from Chugach National Forest in Alaska to Washington, D.C.
This is the first time the tree has come from Alaska, and SkyBitz is tracking the 74-foot Lutz spruce’s 4,000-mile journey on the site www.trackthetree.com.
SkyBitz has been tracking the Capitol Christmas Tree for eight years.
"We are proud to support this tradition for the eighth year and look forward to creating a unique opportunity for the American public to follow along virtually on the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree tour and partake in the many unique activities during its various community events," SkyBitz President Henry Popplewell said in a statement.
"The website we created, TracktheTree.com, allows everyone the opportunity to celebrate the spirit of the season and the forests that connect us all, regardless of where they are located,” Popplewell said.
The tree will be transported on a specially decaled Kenworth T680, which features the Chugach Mountains and the U.S. Capitol beneath a Northern starry sky with the words “From the Northern Lights to Capitol Lights.”
After the tree is shipped from Anchorage to Seattle, it will make 10 stops for celebrations along the way, including Missoula, Montana, Rapid City, South Dakota, and South Bend, Indiana. One of the stops is planned for Nov. 17 at Kenworth’s Chillicothe, Ohio, plant, where the T680 was built.
Chugach National Forest employees spent months searching for tree candidates for the superintendent of the Capitol grounds, Ted Bechtol, to select. The tree must meet strict guidelines, including a height of 65 to 85 feet and a perfect conical shape, and it must “possess typical tree characteristics for that species as well as a straight stem, uniform branching, natural density and a good rich color,” according to the Architect of the Capitol blog.
“We still have plenty of work ahead when the tree arrives at the U.S. Capitol in November, but we know the Capitol Christmas Tree will look amazing when it is time for the speaker of the House to flip the switch at the tree-lighting ceremony in December. It's one of the things I look forward to most each holiday season,” Bechtol wrote.
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