A nearly 80-foot tall Christmas tree is set to arrive Monday at the grounds of the U.S. Capitol from Montana.

The annual tree-lighting ceremony at the Capitol will take place at 5 p.m. on Dec. 6.

The tradition of a Christmas tree there dates to the 1960s. In 1964, a 24-foot Douglas fir was bought for $700 from a nursery in Birdsboro, Pa., and placed on the West Front lawn. That tree died after a severe storm and root damage but the tradition of a tree on the Capitol grounds continued.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service provides a tree each year from a different state. This year’s tree, an Engelmann Spruce, is 79 feet tall. It comes from the Kootenai National Forest in northwest Montana.

It is making the journey to the District on a truck, stopping in several cities along the way. The ornaments that will decorate the tree are handmade and come from different parts of Montana.

There is also a large Christmas tree in front of the White House.


Last year’s Christmas trees — on the left is the one outside the White House and on the right is the one outside the U.S. Capitol. (Washington Post file)