Forest Service cuts Colorado tree for US Capitol national Christmas tree

MEEKER, Colo. - A 73-foot-tall Colorado Engleman spruce tree is heading to the U.S. Capitol for Christmas.

The U.S. Forest Service said the tree cut Friday at Ripple Creek Lodge east of Meeker passed inspection and will make its way to Washington, D.C., over the next week.

Former U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell and the lodge owner will be driving a truck that will carry the tree in a special cradle.

The Capitol Christmas Tree tradition began in the 1970s. The federal government chooses a particular national forest, and then the forest supervisor picks a few candidate trees. The final selection is then cut down and hauled to D.C.