Archived Outdoors

North Carolinians hang 7,500 ornaments on Capitol Christmas Tree

In the six months after the National Forests in North Carolina announced that the 2022 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree would come from North Carolina, more than 7,500 ornaments were donated to adorn “The People’s Tree” in Washington, D.C., this Christmas. 

The influx of ornaments significantly exceeded the goal of 6,000. Schools, communities and civic organizations across the state decorated and donated ornaments, as well as partner agencies, organizations and hundreds of members of the public. Dozens of outreach and education events featured forestry lessons and ornament-making activities, and artists donated ornaments or provided materials and expertise to make them. 

“I am amazed that we reached our goal early, but I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised that North Carolinians, and our friends and neighbors, rallied for the cause,” said Sheryl Bryan, U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree ornaments coordinator. “I am immensely proud of the people of North Carolina and of the ornaments on this year’s trees. Each one of them has been touched with love and pride of the ‘Old North State.’”

With the ornaments all collected, the Forest Service is preparing to start the tree’s tour through North Carolina and north to D.C. The voyage kicks off with a Harvest Celebration 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in Fletcher. The tree will also stop at the Cherokee County Courthouse in Murphy 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6, followed by a visit to Oconaluftee Island Park in Cherokee 6 to 8 p.m. the same day. On Monday, Nov. 7, it will be at the Pisgah Forest Ranger Station and Visitor Center noon to 1:30 p.m.

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree initiative is a 50-year tradition in which one of the country’s 154 national forests provides a tree for the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. This is the third time North Carolina’s national forests have provided the tree, previously doing so in 1998 and 1974. 

For more information, including a full list of tour stops, visit

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