About

How it Began

The tradition of the Capitol Christmas Tree, or "The People’s Tree," began in 1964 when Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John W. McCormack (D-MA) placed a live Christmas tree on the Capitol lawn. This tree lived three years before succumbing to wind and root damage.

In 1970, the Capitol Architect asked the U.S. Forest Service to provide a Christmas tree. Since then, a different national forest has been chosen each year to provide "The People’s Tree." This national forest also works with state forests to provide companion trees that are smaller Christmas trees for offices in Washington, D.C. 

The Kootenai National Forest in Montana will provide the 2017 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree.

Kootenai National Forest
Kootenai National Forest, Montana
 
Year Tree Source
1964 Douglas Fir (live) Buddies Nurseries, Birdsboro, Pennsylvania
1965 Douglas Fir (live) Buddies Nurseries, Birdsboro, Pennsylvania
1966 Douglas Fir (live) Buddies Nurseries, Birdsboro, Pennsylvania
1967 Douglas Fir (live) Buddies Nurseries, Birdsboro, Pennsylvania
1968 White Pine (parts) Finxburg, Maryland
1969 White Pine (parts) Westminister, Maryland
1970 Norway Spruce Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia
1971 Black Spruce White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire
1972 Balsam Fir Tennessee National Forest, Pennsylvania
1973 White Spruce Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania
1974 Fraser Fir Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina
1975 Balsam Fir Ottawa National Forest, Michigan
1976 Red Spruce Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia
1977 White Spruce Nemadji State Forest, Minnesota
1978 Norway Spruce Savage River State Forest, Maryland
1979 White Spruce Nicolet National Forest, Wisconsin
1980 White Spruce Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont
1981 White Spruce Hiawatha National Forest, Michigan
1982 Balsam Fir Riley Bostwich Wildlife Management Area, Vermont
1983 White Spruce Chequamegon National Forest, Wisconsin
1984 White Spruce Superior National Forest, Minnesota
1985 White Spruce Ottawa National Forest, Michigan
1986 Shasta Red Fir Klamath National Forest, California
1987 Norway Spruce Wayne-Hoosier National Forest, Ohio
1988 Balsam Fir Manistee National Forest, Michigan
1989 Engelmann Spruce Kootenai National Forest, Montana
1990 Engelmann Spruce Routt National Forest, Colorado
1991 Blue Spruce (live) Carson National Forest, New Mexico
1992 White Spruce Chippewa National Forest, Minnesota
1993 White Fir San Bernardino National Forest, California
1994 Balsam Fir Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont
1995 Douglas Fir Plumas National Forest, California
1996 Engelmann Spruce Manti-LaSal National Forest, Utah
1997 Black Hills Spruce Black Hills National Forest, South Dakota
1998 Fraser Fir Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina
1999 White Spruce Nicolet National Forest, Wisconsin
2000 Colorado Blue Spruce Pike National Forest, Colorado
2001 White Spruce Ottawa National Forest, Michigan
2002 Douglas Fir Umpqua National Forest, Oregon
2003 Engelmann Spruce Boise Nationl Forest, Idaho
2004 Red Spruce Washington & Jefferson National Forest, Virginia
2005 Engelmann Spruce Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico
2006 Pacific Silver Fir Olympic National Forest, Washington
2007 Balsam Fir Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont
2008 Subalpine Fir Bitterroot National Forest, Montana
2009 Blue Spruce Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Arizona
2010 Engelmann Spruce Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming
2011 Sierra White Fir Stanislaus National Forest, California
2012 Engelmann Spruce White River National Forest, Colorado
2013 Engelmann Spruce Colville National Forest, Washington
2014 White Spruce Chippewa National Forest, Minnesota
2015 Lutz Spruce Chugach National Forest, Alaska
2016 Engelmann Spruce Payette National Forest, Idaho
2017 Engelmann Spruce  Kootenai National Forest, Montana