The Tennessee state Christmas tree, a 45 ft tall blue spruce donated by a property owner in Oak Hill, was only in its place in front of the state capital fully lit and decorated for a little over a week before it became a casualty of the high winds observed in middle Tennessee last night and into today. According to the Tennessean, employees of the state capital found it drooping onto the sidewalk after being blown over this morning prior to 4 AM. Fortunately no one was injured since it happened so late at night. (Check here for pictures.)
According to Brian Dias, Horticultural Manager for Tennessee's Department of General Services, the search for a Christmas tree for the state capital starts in the summer and it usually takes several months to find the right tree. Dias said he tries to find a tree which will have to be cut down anyhow for disease or interfering with utility wires or similar reasons. The property owner who donated the tree says the tree was more than 50 years old and needed to be removed even if it didn't find a home in front of the state capital.
State officials are now looking for a replacement tree. In the mean time, if you're downtown you can go a few blocks and see the Metro Nashville Christmas tree on the plaza in front of the Metro Courthouse.
Addional Reading: If you're in the market for a locally grown Christmas tree, PickTNProducts.org has a directory of Christmas tree farms in the state.