MEEKER, Colo., (UPI) — The 73-foot tall 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree has begun its three-week road trip from Colorado to Washington, D.C., officials said.
The tree, an Englemann spruce, was felled in the White River National Forest, near Meeker, Colo., and will be carried by several flatbed trailers as it visits 14 communities in the state, and 13 more along the way to the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, the U.S. Forest Service said.
“Colorado is synonymous with outdoor recreation, and we are honored to provide a gift to the nation that will inspire people to enjoy the outdoors,” said Al White, director of the Colorado Tourism Office.
The tree-cutting and the trucking cost about $250,000, said Ken Coffin of the White River National Forest Blanco Ranger District, noting the costs of time, trucks, and specialized labor are underwritten by donations.
“(The cost) is significant, and basically covered by sponsors, not taxpayer money,” he said.
The tree’s road trip begins Tuesday in Meeker, and will make stops in Colorado towns and cities so residents can see the tree before it is transported east, the Denver Post reported.