November’s here and that means one thing – it’s time to hurl ourselves face first into the upcoming holiday season.

Photo Ryn Gargulinski

Photo Ryn Gargulinski

Arizona is doing that in a big way by slaughtering a mighty blue spruce as instructed by the federal government.

Yes, our state has the honor of supplying this year’s United States Capitol Tree.

No, it won’t be placed inside the White House, but rather outside in front of the Capitol Building.

The 85-foot beauty from the White Mountain area’s Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests will be chopped at the knees on Nov. 7, according to a news release from the National Forest Service.

Everyone is welcome to attend this historic event – as it’s the first time ever that a forest in Arizona has been chosen to deplete its resources in the name of tradition.

The tree slaughtering ceremony will feature White Mountain Apache Dancers, an Apache blessing, choral music and Arizona’s official historian Marshall Trimble commemorating the event.

That’s quite a funeral.

The dead tree will then “tour Arizona” and other parts of the nation on the way to its Nov. 30 delivery to the United States Congress in Washington, D.C.

A dead tree is taking a tour? Isn’t that kind of like pulling a casket behind a sled and telling the corpse to enjoy the view?

I am not anti-Christmas trees. They are a fine addition to holiday décor, with their stately stance and fragrant boughs.

With a population of more than 300 million, if only a quarter of the nation’s residents wanted a fresh Christmas tree, 75 million trees would be killed.

But fake trees may not be the answer, according to a report on, as they will eventually rot in a landfill when they become too ratty for display.

In fact, the report goes on to explain that Christmas trees and other live holiday décor are grown as crops specifically for that purpose, and not raped from Mother Nature.

That’s good to know. That’s probably why we haven’t encountered any “Save the Spruce” groups, too.

But that still doesn’t excuse the 85-foot slaughter, which is indeed being taken from its natural habitat. But in the big scheme of things, does one dead tree from the White Mountains actually matter?


wb-logolilWhat do you think?

Are you honored Arizona was chosen to supply the Capitol Christmas tree or do you wish the feds would pick on another state?

Are you a fan of Christmas trees? Do you recycle yours properly when you’re through with them?

Should we forget Christmas altogether and just sit around grouchy like a bunch of Grinches?