SEWARD -- The 2015 U.S. Capitol Christmas tree was felled Tuesday afternoon on the outskirts of this Southcentral Alaska harbor community, the first step of a 6,000-mile journey that will eventually take it to the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
The 74-foot Lutz spruce cut Tuesday, a hybrid between a Sitka and white spruce, hails from the Chugach National Forest, the country's most northern and western national forest. On Tuesday morning the 90-year-old tree stood about 300 feet off the Seward Highway. The surrounding area was cleared and filled in with dirt in order to support two cranes that secured the spruce estimated to weigh about 7,500 pounds.
The spruce was found by Amanda Villwock, Natural Resources Specialist with the Chugach National Forest, who said she began searching for the "perfect" tree last October.
"The tree symbolizes more than just the tree itself, you know, especially coming from Alaska," Villwock said. "We're taking pride in our state and sharing that with the entire country," she said.