The Christmas tree mystery has been solved, and it’s a very American story.
A Virginia tree company employee, driving to Hersheypark for a summer visit, gets a tip about a perfect 30-foot Colorado blue spruce in front of a home in Palmyra, Pa.
He knows the National Park Service (NPS) is on the lookout for a special tree to plant in a special place, so he stops and rings the doorbell.
The owners, Cambodian natives Lin Ly and his wife, Kimleang Sour, now U.S. citizens, answer the door, and the nation gets a new National Christmas Tree to plant in front of the White House.
Speaking on behalf of her parents, Tia Ly recounted last summer’s events in a telephone interview Thursday evening. She said that a National Park Service contractor had already begun the process of carefully removing the tree. It will be trucked to Washington, D.C. on Friday, and re-planted Saturday, Oct. 26 on the Ellipse.
A giant crane and crew of a dozen or so employees of Davey Tree Service from Chantilly, Virginia removed the tree on Friday morning, Oct. 25, and loaded it onto a flatbed truck as neighbors watched.
Robert Craft, Davey’s foreman on the scene, explained that the NPS had advertised for a new tree for months, and said “you’d think finding the right tree would be easy, but it’s not. Everybody had been looking in small towns all over.”
Neighbor Beverly Bross told LebTown that the tree was about five feet tall when planted by the property’s previous owners in 2003, and that it had once come close to being cut down due to a bagworm infestation.
Tia Ly says her parents, who came to the United States 14 years ago, have been invited to attend the 97th National Tree Lighting Ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 5 in the nation’s capital.