State Christmas tree provided by UT

OLIVER SPRINGS, Tenn. (AP) — A huge Norwegian spruce that was once part of a study on the needle shed of Christmas trees will grace the Tennessee state capitol this holiday season.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports ( a crew of eight men on Thursday cut the top off the 75-foot-tall giant growing in the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture’s Morgan County research forest.

State officials visited the Cumberland Forest last week and looked at several trees before selecting the spruce as this year’s state capitol Christmas tree. Forest manager Martin Schubert told the paper this tree made the cut because of its symmetry.

This marks the second time that UT has donated a tree for the capitol.