Sweet Home already in the holiday spirit as they search for Capi - KPTV - FOX 12

Sweet Home already in the holiday spirit as they search for Capitol Christmas Tree

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It hasn't even been a month since Christmas, and while most people already put their decorations away, some in Sweet Home are working to pick the perfect tree for next Christmas!

Even though the holiday is still 340 days away, it's never too early to start planning, especially since the U.S. Forest Service announced that Oregon, specifically Sweet Home in Linn County, has been selected to provide the 2018 United States Capitol Christmas Tree.

Home Sweet Home Cafe owner Amanda Foss said she is excited that her town gets the honor.

“I was shocked and impressed, but mostly shocked,” she said. "We have beautiful trees up here."

Other local residents agree, saying it's the perfect place to find the perfect tree.

"We've got beautiful greenery around us, and it's a perfect representation of what we have here,” resident Justin Carpenter said. I think it's pretty cool to get something like that out there and for our name to be thrown around nationally down in D.C.”

Fresh from the Willamette National Forest, the hefty fir will be displayed on the west lawn of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The nation will watch as the Christmas tree sparkles at the annual tree lighting ceremony in December.

Forest Service District Ranger Nikki Swanson explained there are some specific criteria they are using to find the tree.

"It needs to be between 65 and 85 feet tall. We're thinking a noble fir or a Douglas fir,” she said.

This year's fir will be accompanied by 70 smaller trees to decorate government buildings, and to adorn the Oregon-grown branches, the Forest Service is asking people to help make 10,000 ornaments - with an Oregon twist of course.

"We're trying to use recycled materials as much as possible… plastic plates, Solo cups, recycled water bottles with netting around them to make fish, those kinds of things,” Swanson explained.

This year's theme is "Find Your Trail" commemorating the 175th anniversary of the Oregon Trail. In fact, the tree will travel eastward from Oregon on the reverse path of the Oregon Trail and is sure to make Christmas special at the nation's capitol.

"It's a gift from our ranger district, a gift from the forest and a gift from the state of Oregon to the people of America, and we're super excited about that,” Swanson said.

The ranger district is asking for the public's help to find the perfect tree in the Sweet Home area. Anyone who thinks they have found the perfect tree is asked to share a photo and the GPS location with the Sweet Home ranger station.

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