There may be nothing more symbolic of the winter holiday season than the Christmas tree for those who celebrate. It is not truly the Christmas season until the tree is up and decorated. While there are always some early birds that cannot wait to kick off the Christmas season by decorating a tree, the first week of December is the standard time of harvest for those who prefer the fresh-cut trees over the artificial.
Tomorrow night the speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi, will lead the lighting ceremony of the 55th Capitol Christmas Tree. This particular 60ft blue spruce tree was harvested back on November 6th in Carson National Forest in New Mexico, so how did it up in Washington D.C.? As with almost all other goods in the U.S., the answer is because of a truck driver and his 18-wheeler. Fun fact In 1963, John W. McCormack suggested that a Christmas Tree should be placed on the grounds. A live tree was purchased for $700 from Buddies Nurseries and planted on the West Front Lawn of the Capitol.
The Capital Christmas Tree carries a lot of symbolism, but the transportation of Christmas trees via tractor-trailers is far from uncommon. The United States will actually ship trees all over the world, but Mexico is the biggest importer. Most of these trees come through the southern border on trucks. The industry is a major boost to many northern states, with Oregon and Michigan leading the way in production (Oregon Christmas tree sales had a total value of over $120 million dollars in 2017). This can be a much needed shot in the arm for the trucking industry in those northern states as shipping volume decreases greatly in the winter months due to the lower volume in construction work.
Just remember this year if you go to a pop-up shop to buy your tree, a hard-working truck driver helped deliver your Christmas cheer!
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