State Tree

Roberta Clouse stands with the 35-foot Norway spruce that has been selected as the Christmas tree that will stand in front of the Virginia State Capitol Building in Richmond. The tree will be cut down Sunday for transport. The tree was planted in 2000 at Clouse’s Pine Hill Farm at 2896 Green Spring Road in Frederick County.

WINCHESTER — A Frederick County tree farm is brightening the holidays for the entire state of Virginia.

A 35-foot Norway spruce planted in 2000 at Clouse’s Pine Hill Farm at 2896 Green Spring Road has been selected as the Christmas tree that will stand in front of the Virginia State Capitol Building in Richmond.

“It’s a unique opportunity,” said Ryan Clouse, a horticulturist and second-generation tree farmer at his family’s farm north of Winchester. “Not every farm gets this opportunity.”

Clouse said the tree will be cut down on Sunday and driven south by a crew headed by Matt Wolanski, senior area forester with the Virginia Department of Forestry. Only the top 25 feet of the 35-foot tree will be needed for the holiday display.

“The state Department of Forestry arranged for the presentation,” Clouse said. “They’re responsible for the State Capitol tree.”

To prepare the tree for transport to the Virginia State Capitol grounds, “We have to bail it,” he said. “What that means is taking twine and condensing the branches. It’s about 14 feet wide so it’s not going to go down the road in its current state.”

Clouse said the tree from his farm will be put up this week and illuminated in a special ceremony on Friday evening that he plans on attending with members of his family, including parents Ron and Roberta Clouse.

This is the first time Clouse’s Pine Hill Farm has been asked to provide the Virginia State Capitol Christmas tree, Ryan Clouse said.

To learn more about the Frederick County farm, which is open this weekend for people who want to choose and cut their own Christmas trees, visit clousespinehillfarm.com.

— Contact Brian Brehm at bbrehm@winchesterstar.com

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