The six-story fir tree that will brighten the National Mall in Washington D.C. is taking a victory lap, of sorts. The 65-foot white fir was felled in Stanislaus National Forest. This is the fourth time that the “The People’s Tree” will hail from California.

This one was picked for its fullness, shape and color. And it’s being treated like precious cargo en route to Washington D.C. — gently set on its side in a custom cradle to keep its shape on the three-week tour. And just in case there might be any shenanigans, federal officials and round-the-clock law enforcement are escorting the tree.

A separate truck is carrying the 5,000 ornaments handmade by Californians that will decorate the tree once it arrives at its final destination.

The tree is scheduled to arrive in Washington D.C. on November 28, with a lighting ceremony in front of the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 6th. If you want to follow the fir across the country, can track its journey right here.

The Capitol Christmas Tree stops outside the Capitol in Sacramento.


Kelly Wilkinson

Kelly Wilkinson is a radio journalist living in San Francisco. You can hear her reporting frequently on KQED FM and The California Report. In addition to covering California and Bay Area news, Kelly writes the (mostly) crafty blog Make Grow Gather. There she chronicles her love of making things like lemon curd from foraged fruit, spray-painted lampshades and cut felt placemats. The projects she creates are regularly picked up by national websites and magazines. Kelly grew up in a renovated barn in Virginia and is constantly trying to bring a little bit of her rural upbringing to her now-urban life. By day, she catches the N-Judah out the front door. By weekend, she tends bees and grows vegetables in the backyard.

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