‘America's Tallest Living Christmas Tree' Is a California Classic

Ferndale, a history-laden hamlet known for its handsome Victorian architecture, is home to the famous fir.

Ellin Beltz

What to Know

  • Historic Ferndale is located in Humboldt County
  • The tall tree will be lit on Dec. 5, starting at 5:30 p.m.
  • The lighting has been a local tradition since 1934

SOME PEOPLE MAY WISECRACK... that towns all look the same, and driving through one place is a similar experience to driving through anywhere else. But those claims come to a pretty quick halt when the topic of Ferndale arises, for the Humboldt County town looks like, well, itself. It's more Ferndale than you can imagine, and if you've called upon the postcard-perfect burg, you know that its Ferndale-fabulous charms are as plentiful as branches on a redwood. Those charms have much to do with the Victorian buildings that colorfully line the strollable streets, and the town's fog-soft setting, and a certain specimen that is in the spotlight each December. We won't be coy about that last point: It's a hard-to-miss fir, one that has been delightfully dubbed as "America's Tallest Living Christmas Tree."

AND SEEING THE TREE LIT? It's a must-do, super-merry tradition for many local families. That will happen again, with pomp, shimmer, and bundle-up joy, on Sunday, Dec. 5, but even if you're not there for the lighting itself, you may catch a glimpse if you call upon the area during the holiday season. It's quite a sight, especially when paired with all of those picturesque structures, buildings that seem to have slipped through some sort of time portal. But wait: Humboldt County, a location known for its trees, is in other tree-based news these days: The 2021 Capitol Christmas Tree hailed from the Six Rivers National Forest, a big deal, indeed.

WOULD YOU LIKE A CHRISTMAS TREE... from the same forest where "Sugar Bear" grew before being transported to Washington D.C. in November? Some local hotels will reimburse your permit fee. Read more now, and plan your Humboldt holiday adventure, a region known for incredible Capitol-ready Christmas trees, our nation's tallest living Christmas tree, and lots of other terrific trees to obsess over, at any time of the year.

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