Offbeat
8:31 am
Fri July 4, 2014

The search begins for Michigan's official Christmas tree

It may only be July, but Michigan has already begun its search for this year's official Christmas tree.

People can nominate their picks for trees that could fit the bill.

Usually 10 to 15 trees are nominated, and the one that's chosen must be easy to access.

But the process isn't a quick one.

The search begins in the summer to allow enough time to prepare, choose, harvest, and transport the tree to the Capitol.

Lauren Leeds is a spokeswoman for the state. She says cutting down these trees often also helps the surrounding area.

"Trees that are this large are usually becoming an issue with the amount of space or maybe they're starting to encroach on structures," Leeds said. "They're usually trees that might have to be harvested in the next couple of years anyway."

State officials choose the tree based on its height, width, shape, and the thickness of its trunk.

"It's really, truly magical just to see all of the hard work and planning that takes place throughout the whole process to pick just the right tree and get it here and then see it lit," Leeds said.

Once the tree is chosen, it will go up on the front lawn of the Capitol in November.

The annual ceremony consists of live music, fireworks, and an electric light parade.

If you think you know of the perfect tree, you can send your nomination to christmastree@michgan.gov by August 15.

– Alyse Guenther, Michigan Radio Newsroom