U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

For almost 50 years the US Forest Service has provided the US Capitol Christmas Tree and over 70 "companion trees" to the US Capitol in Washington, DC. This year's tree will come from the Payette National Forest, thirteen years after the last Capitol Christmas Tree from Idaho.

In addition to the many celebrations that will take place in Idaho and cross country after the tree is cut next fall there will be a variety of ways schools, businesses and civic organizations can help make this the best US Capitol Christmas Tree ever.

Choose Outdoors, a national nonprofit, is assisting the US Forest Service by developing partnerships, coordinationg events thruout the year in Idaho and cross country and in Washington, DC.

Latest Updates:


Announcing the 2016 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Tour

For more than 50 years, a Christmas tree has graced the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the holiday season. The Payette National Forest in partnership with nonprofit Choose Outdoors will bring this special gift from Idaho to Washington, D.C. for the 2016 season, involving more than 25 communities along the way. The 80 […]


Idaho Youth Sought to Light U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in Washington

  From the office of Senator Mike Crapo WASHINGTON – Through a statewide contest, one Idaho youth will be selected by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo to assist in turning on the power to light the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in December.  Tradition holds that one youth from the state providing the tree serve as the […]


The Search is on

We’re getting close! Over the past three days, the Superintendent of Grounds and the Public Affairs Officer from the Architect of the Capitol (U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.) have been here on the Payette National Forest to select the tree that will be transported to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol this coming holiday season. […]


Tokens of U.S. Capitol Christmas

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree program is possible in part to generous support of partners and sponsors, and the Payette National Forest and Choose Outdoors are fortunate to have two partners who have created special initiatives to engage with and support the 2016 program. Weiser Classic Candy makes hand-made delectables in Weiser, Idaho. They’ve developed […]


It’s Christmas in July in McCall

The Payette National Forest celebrated Christmas in July during McCall’s Lakeside Liberty Fest and the 4th of July weekend festivities. On July 2, the Payette National Forest along with the Payette Children’s Forest, Brundage Mountain Resort, and Choose Outdoors hosted a Christmas in July event at Depot Park next to Hotel McCall. There were a wide […]


Payette Smokejumpers Tasked With Finding Capitol Christmas Tree

In the 2.3 million acres that make up the Payette National Forest, there is a single tree with a major holiday destiny to fulfill. The Christmas tree that adorns the Capitol lawn in Washington, D.C., this year will come from Idaho. Now that the snow is melting up high, the hunt for the perfect tree […]


It’s Christmas All Year in Idaho

The annual tradition of providing a Christmas tree for the U.S. Capitol got an early start last month at the McCall, Idaho, Winter Carnival. The Payette National Forest is providing the 2016 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, historically and fondly known as “The People’s Tree,” which will adorn the West Lawn of Capitol Hill in December. […]

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A Project of the U.S. Forest Service and Choose Outdoors
Thank you to our 2016 Sponsors & Partners
Presenting Sponsor

Other Sponsors include: VitalChek - Idaho Christmas Tree Growers - St. Lukes - Evergreen Resources – Pancake and Christmas House – Shell - Cabela's – Idaho Candy – LifeTouch - McCall Chamber of Commerce – ProBuild - Rust Oleum - Telaya Wine Company – Ward Hooper – Valspar - Weiser Classic Candy – Woodland Empire Ale Draft - McCall Party Rental