The Capitol's California Christmas Tree

FESTIVE FIR: The choosing of the big tree that stands at the U.S. Capitol every Christmas is a rather involved and always important process. And it starts long before most people decide to jump into the wagon and head down to browse the corner lot. And do we even need to add here that the Capitol tree out-talls the traditional lot-bought trees by several dozen feet? As it should. Majesty and presence and so forth. The 2011 tree has been chosen and the headline, certainly for Golden-Staters? It hails from the Stanislaus National Forest in our own Central Sierra. Also interesting? It's only the fourth tree in the Capitol's history to come from California.

NEEDLE-Y TO-KNOWS: It's a white fir that's some 65 feet tall. When it comes down, in early November, it will embark on a 12-city California tour, like every good celebrity. And then? It heads east for Washington D.C. There'll be a lot of stories to come surrounding the Capitol Christmas tree, but our favorite is that it will be heavily decorated with ornaments made by Californians. Nice. Watch this space for more info on the tour, and oh? You can't visit the tree before November. Its precise location has not been released, of course, but you can admire it now, in this photo. It's a beauty and it is a biggin'.

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