U.S. Capitol tree cut down in Vermont

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

The U.S. Capitol's Christmas tree is on its way to Washington.

The 55-foot Balsam fir was cut down today in Vermont.

Olympic snowboarding champion Hannah Teter, Vermont Governor Jim Douglas and more than 250 others gathered for a harvesting ceremony deep in the Green Mountain National Forest, listening to Christmas carols as snow fell.

With the help of utility crews, a logger cut down the 4,000-pound tree, turned it sideways and tied up its boughs to prepare it for the 10-day trip.

The 44-year-old tree was chosen last summer by a U.S. Capitol horticulturist. It will travel to Washington in a 15-vehicle convoy, stopping at veterans homes, Veterans Administration hospitals and museums along the way.

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