2019 Capitol Christmas Tree to begin journey from New Mexico to D.C.

November 5, 2019

Land Line Staff

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The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will make its way from New Mexico to Washington, D.C., starting on Wednesday, Nov. 6.

The tree, a 60-foot blue spruce, is being harvested from New Mexico’s Carson National Forest. The cutting ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. and include brief remarks by representatives from the U.S. Forest Service, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Choose Outdoors, New Mexico Tourism, local elected officials, and project partners.

A live stream of the Capitol Christmas Tree cutting will be available online on Facebook via CarsonNF. The cross-country trip begins Nov. 11 and can be tracked in near real-time at CaptiolTreeTracker.com. This year’s route features stops in New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia.

A tree-cutting ban in the Southwest initially threatened to derail the tree harvesting as environmental group WildEarth Guardians had previously sought a ban on logging in five forests in New Mexico and one in Arizona to protect a threatened owl.

Last month, the group drafted a list of activities for a federal judge to exempt from the injunction on timber management activities. Included among the list was harvesting the Capitol Christmas Tree.

Wilbanks Trucking Services LLC, of Artesia, N.M., was chosen to haul this year’s tree on its 2,000-mile journey to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building. Founded in 1987, Wilbanks Trucking specializes in hauling oversized and overweight loads. The company employs about 250 individuals with additional locations in Hobbs, N.M., and Odessa, Texas.

The 2019 Capitol Christmas Tree will be delivered in a specially decaled Kenworth W990. TravelCenters of America is donating the fuel costs for the tree’s journey.

TravelCenters