How long does it take the nation’s most celebrated Christmas tree to travel from Washington State to Washington, D.C.? The answer is 25 long cold days—with a few diversions. This year’s Capitol Christmas Tree was harvested from the Colville National Forest in Pend Oreille County on November 1 and spent several weeks visiting communities across the country before arriving at its place of honor in the Capital.
Traveling with the 88-foot-tall Engelmann spruce were three small sensors placed within the tree’s canopy by Katie McKeever, a graduate student in plant pathology from WSU. McKeever has been hard at work in recent weeks learning about how moisture is lost or retained from a truly mega-Christmas tree once it is cut.