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Kyle Potter, Published December 20 2013

ND Christmas tree made in Wisconsin

BISMARCK – North Dakota’s mammoth state Christmas tree aglow in the Capitol comes not from the plains of North Dakota but from a bog in Wisconsin.

Rather than cutting down a local spruce or pine, which Facilities Management spokeswoman Ronda Berg said dry out too fast in the low humidity, the state gets a balsam fir special from central Wisconsin. It was ordered through Bismarck-based Cashman Nursery, which has been providing the state tree for decades.

The tree cost about $700, according to the Associated Press.

Cashman Nursery owner Dan Cashman said he’s experimented over the years with local trees for the Capitol’s Memorial Hall – a spruce here, a pine there.

“Both lost every needle that they’ve got,” Cashman said. “And I don’t mean some of them.”

Cashman said he orders balsam firs from a bog in Wisconsin, where the hearty trees grow best. It took a crew of 12 to bring the 25-foot tree up the Capitol steps, he said.

“That’s why [the state] gets a tree from me,” he said. “They’re the best I know of.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Kyle Potter at (701) 241-5502