Gallery: Capitol Christmas Tree arrives in Washington

Nov. 23, 2022
As an annual tradition, The U.S. Forest Service selects the Capitol Christmas Tree and sends it on a tour to different communities before arriving in Washington, D.C. This year's tree was hauled by Hardy Brothers Trucking on a Kenworth T680 Next Gen.

On Nov. 18, the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree arrived in Washington, D.C., carried by a Kenworth T680 Next Gen from the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina to the Capitol building, stopping in towns along a 14-day tour. Since 1970, the U.S. Forest Service has selected the Capitol Christmas Tree—or "The People's Tree"—for transport to the Washington, D.C. A tree lighting ceremony will be held on the Capitol's West Lawn on Nov. 29.

For photos of the tree and its journey, click through the gallery above.

This year’s carrier, Hardy Brothers Trucking, based in Siloam, North Carolina, is recognized on both doors. The company selected its husband-and-wife driver team of Harold “Ed” Kingdon Jr. and Deborah Z. Kingdon to haul the tree—a 78-ft. tall red spruce called "Ruby." The tree was harvested Nov. 2 from the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina. Hardy Brothers Trucking has more than 100 drivers pulling refrigerated trailers and hauling freight, according to a Kenworth press release.

See also: Gallery: ATA’s MCE turns attention to trucking’s future

This year’s tour theme “From the Mountains to the Sea” along with “From the National Forests in North Carolina” are displayed on the truck’s driver and passenger sides. The design also features the U.S. Capitol Building, U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, and a background of the sunset overlooking the Pisgah National Forest in the Appalachian Mountains. The 2022 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree logo is displayed on the roof.

The tree was harvested by Rodney Smith, a 30-year employee of the Uhwarrie National Forest. With support from Dover Crane and Barlett Tree Experts, the Red Spruce was placed on a flatbed trailer provided by Hale Trailer. It was hauled by a Kenworth T680 Next Gen equipped with a 76-inch mid-roof sleeper.

As part of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree program, the U.S. Forest Service is partnering with the National Forest Foundation to raise funds for a new tree nursery that will grow red spruce seedlings to be used in reforestation efforts. The Forest Service has contributed $50,000, and the National Forest Foundation is raising $200,000 more.

Someday that greenhouse will contain the seedlings of Ruby. A team of foresters collected cones from Ruby, which contain seeds that will be grown into into the next generation of red spruce trees across the southern Appalachian region.

The nursery will be managed by the Southern Highlands Reserve, a nationally recognized nonprofit arboretum, and research center. This organization has embarked upon the task of raising 50,000 red spruce trees to be planted on public lands in North Carolina, Eastern Tennessee, and Virginia, where they have already planted more than 6,000 trees. Other partners in these restoration efforts include The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The tree's tour began Nov. 5, and the tree lighting ceremony on the Capitol's West Lawn is scheduled for Nov. 29. Smaller companion trees also will be provided to decorate offices inside of the U.S. Capitol building and other sites throughout Washington, D.C., along with handmade ornaments created by North Carolinians.

2022 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Tour schedule

  • Nov. 5: Western North Carolina Agricultural Center, Fletcher, North Carolina
  • Nov. 6: Cherokee County Courthouse, Murphy, North Carolina
  • Nov. 6: Oconaluftee Island Park Event Site, Cherokee, North Carolina
  • Nov. 7: Pisgah Forest Ranger Station & Visitor Center, Pisgah Forest, North Carolina
  • Nov. 7: Marion Main Street, Marion, North Carolina
  • Nov. 8: Avery County Cooperative Extension Center, Newland, North Carolina
  • Nov. 8: Watauga High School, Boone, North Carolina
  • Nov. 8: Downtown Newton, Newton, North Carolina
  • Nov. 9: Veteran’s Memorial Park, Mount Airy, North Carolina
  • Nov. 9: Troy Town Hall, Troy, North Carolina
  • Nov. 10: North Carolina Zoo, Asheboro, North Carolina
  • Nov. 11: North Carolina Veteran's Home, Kinston, North Carolina
  • Nov. 12: Union Point Park, New Bern, North Carolina
  • Nov. 13: Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Manteo, North Carolina
  • Nov. 14: Suffolk Visitors Center, Suffolk, Virginia
  • Nov. 18: Delivery to West Lawn, U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.
  • Nov. 29: Tree lighting ceremony, Washington, D.C.
About the Author

Scott Keith

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