tree-thinning project on the grounds of the state capitol, officials had selected a 70-foot tall grand fir to use as this year's "holiday tree." The tree was scheduled to come down anyway, and it seemed like a natural fit to serve out the rest of its days in the adjacent rotunda. Unfortunately, after the tree was cut, it didn't...well...make the cut.
Once it was clear that a different tree was needed, the Oregon Department of Forestry knew exactly where to turn: The South Fork Forest Camp, a minimum-security prison camp in the Oregon Coast Range. Apparently, there's a few emergency back-up Christmas trees there, and by this morning a 23-year-old specimen was installed in the rotunda.
UPDATE: I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the tree-lighting ceremony is scheduled for next Wednesday, December 1st at 5:30 p.m. By then, the tree will be festooned with baubles and trinkets which--my sources tell me--are strictly ornamental. For more information on ""Holidays at the Capitol," click here.