TAOS, N.M.- This year’s U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree has been found on the Questa Ranger District of the Carson National Forest in northern New Mexico. The selected tree is a 60-foot blue spruce (Picea pungens) with a nearly 100 percent live crown ratio and full foliage from 360 degrees. The “People’s Tree” will be displayed on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., with a public tree-lighting ceremony in early December. “The selected tree is a true gem that all New Mexicans will be proud of,” said Questa District Ranger Jack Lewis.
This year’s tree was selected by Jim Kaufmann, director of the U.S. Capitol Grounds and Arboretum, and the Architect of the Capitol. “The tree represents not just the Carson National Forest, but all of New Mexico,” said Kaufmann. “Forest employees identified about a dozen trees, and it was a fun process to review the candidate trees to see which one will make a perfect tree for the Capitol. There are a lot of people from both the Carson National Forest and the Architect of the Capitol that are working tirelessly to make this event happen.”
Communities throughout New Mexico are encouraged to help decorate the tree by contributing one of over 10,000 handmade ornaments capturing the unique culture and beauty of New Mexico. If you would like to provide ornaments for the tree, please fill out a short form on the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree website www.uscapitolchristmastree.com/participate/decoratethetree.