The 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree

photo of uncut tree

The uncut tree was an Engelmann Spruce 73 feet tall and 74 years old.

photo of tree cutting phot of tree hoisted onto truck phot of tree loading onto truck

 photo of tree on truck 

The tree will make a 5,004 mile journey through Colorado and across the nation.
You can track the tree's journey and its arrival for the official tree lighting on December 4!

The Capitol Christmas Tree finally arrives at its destination on November 28! (video)

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Official Website

 Photo of tree wrapped on truck 

The tree is protected with plywood and a plastic tarp/banner. The spruce will consume over 30 gallons of water a day!

photo of signing banner photo of smokey and santa Photo of kids petting horses

Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus arrived with Smokey in a horse-drawn carriage to join the celebrations at the Grand Junction Cabela's Store.

 photo of Forest Service District Ranger and GJ MAyor

Meeker District Ranger Ken Coffin, presented Grand Junction Mayor Bill Pitts a gift basket
of  Colorado "goodies." The Mayor proclaimed Thursday, November 8th  as "Capitol Christmas Tree Day" in Grand Junction.

 Photo of smokey with Mack truck 

Smokey poses with the Mack Trucking Company mascot - a partner with "Choose Outdoors"
funding the transport of the tree to our Nation's Capitol.

Photo of Employee helping with ornmanent decor photo of boy with ornament Photo of employee helping with game

In Grand Junction, Forest Service employees help the young ones decorate "tree cookies" (thin slices of aspen and pine trees). Children could take these home to put on their own Christmas tree.


photo of girl painting tree cookies

Photo of FS booth photo of girl making ornamament

In Montrose, the Ouray District Staff also hosted a "tree cookie" decorating booth with a colorful selection of glitter,
paint and Christmas stickers!


photo of FS employees at CXT booth

In August, these Forest Service employees set up a booth at the Montrose Youth Appreciation Day to encourage kids to make ornaments that would eventually decorate the Capitol Christmas Tree and the campanion trees in Washington, D.C.

Photo of employee with kids

Thanks to all of you for showing "how Coloradoan's celebrate the great outdoors!"


Students from area schools decorated over 5,000 ornaments for the "People's Tree"

 photo of 4th grade class with ornaments

The fourth grade class at Pomona Elementary School in Montrose decorated their symbols of "Celebrating Our Great Outdoors".... backpacks, hiking shoes, river rafts and teepees.

student holding ornament student holding ornament 3
student holdin xmas ornament student holding ornament
teacher displaying xmas ornaments made by students

Students at Johnson Elementary School in Montrose enjoyed sharing their vision of the Christmas spirit with the nation and made several  hand made ornaments for the Capitol Christmas Tree depicting the outdoor activities they and their teachers experience and see every day.


The Story of the Capitol Christmas Tree ( pdf )

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Official Website

 To view ornament designs from past years....

In 2010 - US Forest Service Capitol Christmas Tree coordinator explains just how such a
magnificent tree is cut, positioned and transported to the Capitol.  In 2010 the tree came
from the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming