Journey of the State Capitol's Christmas Tree

When Craig Kreiner saw this 25 foot Spruce Tree near a home just outside of Hickman, he knew he had found Nebraska's Christmas Tree.

"Twelve to 15 calls I'll get each year and I'll go out and look at each one just to see which on will work just right and only one or two out of those will work," said Horticulturist Supervisor Craig Kreiner.

Kreiner and his crew went to work Monday morning, chopping the spruce down and loading it onto the trailer for the 30 minute drive north to Lincoln.

Upon arriving at the Capitol, a crowd had already gathered to see this year's Christmas Tree.

"We're excited to see the big tree coming in," said the Frost Family.

Just getting it to the Capitol Building is only half the work, then crews must maneuver the nearly 15 foot wide tree through the 6x7 foot Capitol Doors.

"Some people on the outside squeezing it and trying to get in and then there's people on the inside with the rope and the trunk pulling and then we just go a little at a time and pretty soon it just goes through the doorway and pops through," said Kreiner.

Once through, all 25 feet of the tree is propped up, standing tall in the Capitol's Rotunda Room.

"When I look at it out in the field or in somebody's yard I think well I hope that tree's big enough, then when I get it up to the doors of course it's pretty good size and when I get it up to the Rotunda you realize how big it really is," said Kreiner.

Now it's time for the finishing touches of lights and decorations, to be unveiled on Dec. 8.

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