Search is on for the perfect Oregon Christmas tree to send to the U.S. Capitol

The Sweet Home Ranger District of the Willamette National Forest has the honor of providing this year's Capitol Christmas Tree, and they need the public's help to find it. Photo by Audrey Weil.

SWEET HOME, Ore. -- This year, the Sweet Home Ranger District of the Willamette National Forest has the honor of providing the Christmas Tree for the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

It's just a matter of finding the right one, so the Forest Service is asking for the public's nominations.

"It's kind of like a beauty pageant for trees," Sweet Home District Ranger Nikki Swanson said.

The competition is fierce -- there's so many Douglas Firs and Noble Firs to choose from, but only one tree will go to the Capitol and only one person will get the bragging rights of picking it.

"How amazing would that be to be the person who found the tree that ends up on the Capitol," Swanson said.

First, there's a very strict set of rules.

"Ideally the tree would be 65 to 80 feet tall, conical in nature, have good needles, look wonderful from all sides, and be easily accessible," Swanson said.

It has to have good color, a straight stem, and natural density.

And then anyone can submit their candidate tree by taking a photo, logging the exact GPS coordinates, and sending that as well as their contact information to the Ranger District Office by June 30.

"In August, the architect from the Capitol comes from D.C. to select the finalist," Swanson said. "It's just kind of an amazing gift to the people of the United States from Oregon."

All submissions should be sent to:

Sweet Home Ranger District
CCT Candidate Tree Submission
4431 Highway 20
Sweet Home, OR 9738

They're also looking for 10,000 Oregon-made ornaments to decorate the winning tree and several other smaller trees.

You can find more information on the 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree website.

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