A Norway spruce from West Virginia is headed to the US Capitol to be this year's Christmas tree

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A 63-foot (19-meter) Norway spruce from the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia is on its way to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol to be the Christmas tree for 2023.

Snow fell on the crew members Wednesday in Monongahela National Forest as they harvested the tree selected for this year’s holiday season.

The tree was selected by Jim Kaufmann, Director of the Capitol Grounds for the Architect of the Capitol, according to the USDA Forest Service.

Over the next several days, the tree will be taken to several cities in West Virginia before arriving in the Capitol in Washington. The Forest Service said the tree will be decorated with thousands of handcrafted ornaments from the people of West Virginia. The tree will be lit sometime after Thanksgiving.

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree initiative is a 53-year tradition in which one of America’s 154 national forests provides a tree for the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the holiday season.