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Michelle Obama receives official White House Christmas tree

November 25, 2011|By Kim Geiger
  • The official White House Christmas tree arrives via horse-drawn carriage at the White House.
The official White House Christmas tree arrives via horse-drawn carriage… (Brendan Hoffman / Getty…)

A horse-drawn wagon presented First Lady Michelle Obama with the 19-foot balsam fir tree that will be the official White House Christmas tree.

The 18-year-old tree arrived Friday from a farm near Neshkoro, Wisc. Growers Tom and Sue Schroeder were at the White House for the arrival of the tree, which was harvested last week and shipped to Washington.

The tree was hand-picked by the White House superintendent of grounds and an official with the National Park Service after the Schroeders won the National Christmas Tree Assn.’s National Christmas Tree contest in August.

The tree will be set up in the Blue Room of the White House, where it will be decorated by volunteers and White House staff. The theme will be honoring Blue Star families. The first public viewing of the tree and other White House decorations will be on Wednesday, when the first lady welcomes Gold Star and Blue Star families to the White House.

Ultimately, the tree will be viewed by about 100,000 visitors to the White House this holiday season.

Across town, the 65-foot Sierra white fir from California that was chosen to be the Capitol Christmas tree will arrive Monday after a three-week cross-country journey that included stops in Los Angeles, Gallup, N.M.,   Santa Claus, Ind., and Cherokee, N.C.

The tree comes from the Stanislaus National Forest in the central Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. It is currently making its way through Virginia.

It will stand at the west front lawn of the U.S. Capitol and will be decorated by about 3,000 ornaments crafted by Californians. The theme will be “California Shines” to “highlight the rich cultural and ecological diversity of the Golden State,” according to the Architect of the Capitol.

It will be lit Dec. 6 by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and a child from California, according to the Associated Press.

kim.geiger@latimes.com

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