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Lehighton tree farm again supplies tree for state Capitol

A Carbon County Christmas tree is back in the state Capitol.

Workers moved a 20-foot-tall Douglas Fir Tree into the Rotunda of the state capitol in Harrisburg Wednesday morning.

The tree was grown at Crystal Spring Tree Farm in Mahoning Township, which has provided the capitol rotunda tree for more than 25 years.

“It doesn’t get old. You love to see it there. It’s for our state. It’s a beautiful tree, and the center of the holidays there,” said Chris Botek, owner of Crystal Spring Tree Farm.

This year, Crystal Springs is providing four large trees for the Pa. Dept. of General Services, which handles the capitol’s holiday preparations. The trees will be placed in the rotunda, on the capitol steps, at soldier’s grove and the governor’s residence. Last year, with the capitol building closed to visitors, DGS did not place a live tree in the rotunda.

Crystal Spring's selection of large Christmas trees has made it a favorite not only for the state capitol, but also the White House. The farm has also provided the official White House Christmas tree five times. Over the years, Crystal Spring has developed a proven system for cutting and transporting large Christmas trees. A friend helps transport the tree to Harrisburg, where DGS takes over.

The capitol rotunda tree is nearly three times the height of the typical 7-8 foot Christmas tree. It has a trunk that is more than 12 inches in diameter, and it weighs more than 700 pounds.

Botek said it is an honor to have his trees displayed so prominently. But it’s just as rewarding providing a family with a tree during the Christmas season.

“As special as those trees are, there’s no difference between putting one there, and putting one in some family’s home that they’re going to celebrate Christmas around,” Botek said.