- Associated Press - Saturday, August 16, 2014

CASS LAKE, Minn. (AP) - This year’s United States Capitol Christmas tree is selected and will be cut from the Chippewa National Forest in Minnesota this fall.

Capitol staff and the Washington office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service visited the Chippewa National Forest last month to narrow down the dozens of tree candidates, according to the Brainerd Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1uFV4RC ). A second tree was selected as a backup, just in case something happens to the first, such as a lightning strike.

“This gift from Minnesota and Chippewa National Forest provides opportunities to connect with communities and partners, and helps build awareness of natural resources of our state,” said Chippewa National Forest Supervisor Darla Lenz. “Truly, a one in a million find.”

Officials looked for a tree of 60 to 80 feet in size, a full pyramid-like shape without gaps, healthy branches, a straight trunk, and a species that can withstand transport to Washington D.C.

The location of the trees will not be disclosed in order to protect them from harm. The cutting ceremony will happen Oct. 29.

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Information from: The Daily Dispatch, http://www.brainerddispatch.com