Oak Hill, WV (WOAY-TV): There’s more excitement in the air at the Monongahela National Forest than just the peak of the fall foliage season.
Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill has the story:
A Norway spruce tree from this forest will be the center of attention in the nation’s capital in less than two months.
According to U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Manager, Amy Albright, “It’s actually a gift from the state of West Virginia to the people because it’s placed on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. And it’s been a long process. So we’ve had staff walking around for quite a while, and we’re going to provide this tree. We’ve had staff out since about last Christmas looking across our 921,000 acres of the Monongahela National Forest.”
Albright says the staff had a list of characteristics that the Capitol was looking for. They were looking for a conical tree cone shaped, perfectly shaped, thick branches and viewed from 360 degrees. We were looking for a tree that was pretty from all angles.
Albright mentioned the decision-making process started back in July. We were able to get a glimpse of the ornament-making process that started in August at the West Virginia State Fair in Lewisburg. The U.S. Forest Service had all the tools for the younger and older folks to make their own special ornament that will be placed on the Norway spruce in late November.
Don’t worry if you don’t have the chance to drive 5 hours to the nation’s capital this Christmas…. the U.S. Forest Service will showcase the tree at various stops across the state, including a few in our area, to show folks what a gem of a tree was chosen to be put on the Capitol Lawn.
U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Tour Stops in Southern West Virginia
Summersville Arena & Conference Center: November 5 at 2 p.m.
Mitchell Chevrolet in Marlinton: November 6 at 4 p.m.
Tamarack Marketplace in Beckley: November 7 at 11 a.m.
This year’s tree even has a name…. “wa’feem’tekwi” because the Shawnee Tribe ancestral grounds are in the Monongahela National Forest.
Stay tuned for part two of our series on the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree as we stop along the tour route to give you a glimpse of the Christmas tree and then our final destination will be in Washington, D.C., for the lighting of the tree.