Huge spruce donated to be Idaho's Capitol Christmas tree

Credit: Paul Boehlke/KTVB

Huge spruce donated to be Idaho's Capitol Christmas tree

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by Andrea Lutz

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBandrealutz

KTVB.COM

Posted on November 18, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 18 at 7:18 PM

BOISE – Today was very special for a Boise family as a nearly 50-foot spruce tree that has been in their front yard for more than four decades was cut down, put on a trailer and taken across town to become the Capitol Christmas tree.

The process of getting a tree this big to the Statehouse is no easy task.

Crews started their work at 10 a.m.

This is a tree so special it had a police escort from Boise and Idaho State Police officers.

The tree came from its home at near Five Mile and Overland roads where crews had a tough time getting it to fit under some power lines.

Then the tree traveled all way down Franklin Road and finally onto the Connector, making its way downtown, where it proudly stands in front of the Idaho Capitol.

A retired Boise couple, generously donated this very large and very tall blue spruce for all of us to enjoy this holiday season.

In a city of trees - only one can be chosen.

“I think it’s beautiful, it’s good, I am just thrilled and honored,” said Ann Johnson.

“It’s a very good ending for that tree,” said Duskin Johnson.

It is quite a site to see, but the story of this blue spruce starts with Ann and Duskin Johnson.

“Well, the tree was taking up all of the front yard, we couldn’t see out of the front window anymore,” said Duskin.

For 44 years the tree blocked the view at the Johnson’s home on Riley Court in west Boise.

“We decided we had to do something, and Ann she called the state last year about the tree and they already had one, so they took it this year,” said Duskin.

Now a stump is all that’s left behind, but the tree's shining moment has only begun.

Crews cut down the nearly 50-foot tree and had to maneuver it through some of Boise's busiest streets Monday.

“Some of the overpasses were just kind of shaving the tree a little,” said Duskin.

Police motorcycles and cruisers were right there beside it the whole way.

“That is true we followed him, we got an escort,” laughed Ann.

And as crews finally raised the Johnson's blue spruce upright again, the Johnsons couldn’t help but feel emotional.

“I think we are just really proud of it, really,” said Ann.

That tree that once blocked their view will now serve as the beacon of Christmas in a city where this tree is the fairest of them all.

“We are extremely honored to have the state of Idaho display our tree for Christmas,” said Duskin.

Crews will soon hang 12,000 energy-efficient lights on the tree that will be lit up every night until the holidays are over.

There will also be a special tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 2 at the Capitol.

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