Over the course of this week, the official holiday tree will be stabilized, filled out, and decorated. The conifer came from the upper most part of the state, according to Capitol groundskeeper Steve Green. “It’s a balsam fir, 36 feet tall, it came from the Brule River State Forest.”
The balsam fir is one of America’s most popular Christmas trees. Green says after cutting off some of the rotten trunk, it now stands at about 32 feet. The tree, the harvesting, and the transportation down to Madison are all donated.
Green says this perfectly beautiful tree didn’t start out that way. “When we cut the tree up north we cut branches off of a similar tree so that we can fill in spots.”
The tree will be illuminated with energy-saving LEDs, which are also more durable and longer lasting. Staff from the Wisconsin Veterans Museum will set up displays this week, a train will encircle the base, and then ornaments made by school children will decorate the branches.
The official tree-lighting ceremony with the governor has traditionally taken place on Friday. But the actual time of this year’s event is not yet confirmed. The tree will come down after New Year’s Day, giving people ample time to view the display throughout the holiday season.
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:35