Dallas Creek Valley and the Sneffels Range

The San Juans in southern Colorado are a high altitude range of mountains that straddle the Continental Divide. The snow capped Sneffels Range was photographed from the Dallas Creek Valley in the Uncompahgre National Forest near Ridgway, Colorado. Photo Credit: JeffGoulden (iStock).

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — The Christmas tree scheduled to be on display at the U.S. Capitol Building throughout the holiday season will come from the Uncompahgre Plateau, the U.S. Forest Service said.

The Forest Service said in a statement Thursday that the tree stands 55 feet (17 meters) tall and 25 feet (8 meters) wide. The agency announced in November that the tree would be chosen from somewhere in the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests.

The tree was selected over 10 other candidates, The Daily Sentinel reported.

“The challenge in selecting a tree for the West Lawn is making sure it is symmetrical, full and in the perfect scale to gracefully adorn the U.S. Capitol,” said Jim Kaufmann, director of Capitol Grounds and Arboretum for the Architect of the Capitol, in a statement. “In a normal year, we scour the forest for this special tree. Due to the pandemic, we used videos, pictures and measurements supplied by the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests to identify a suitable Engelmann spruce that all Coloradoans can be proud of.”

The tree is scheduled to be harvested in November and arrive at the Capitol Building later that month. It will be decorated by thousands of ornaments made by Colorado residents.


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