The Christmas tree at the Outlets at Castle Rock traveled hundreds of miles from a California forest over roughly two days to get there.
Christmas tree company Victor's Custom Christmas Trees, based in San Juan Capistrono, California, sourced the 55-foot white fir from northern California near Mount Shasta. Owner Victor Serrao said they purchase trees from timber companies and spend hours scouring thousands of acres to find their products.
With the help of a scout who lives in the area, Serrao selects trees from areas that timber companies gave them permission to cut from. Good Christmas trees must come with full branches at the crown and access to main roads, he said.
They watch for environmental factors, he said, such as nearby saplings that could be damaged during the tree removal, wildlife or insect habitats and if a tree is too near a stream. They also keep an eye out for historical artifacts, he said.
Using a 60-ton crane, crews cut the tree around November, load it onto a tractor-trailer and begin the haul to its final destination. The company shipped trees to 18 locations this year in California, Arizona, Colorado and Utah. Trees range from 20 to 115 feet in height. Traveling between Mount Shasta to Castle Rock covered roughly 1,300 miles.
The company plants trees in place of the specimens they cut down.
From the tree's arrival in the early morning hours on Nov. 5, mall staff spent hours decorating the white fir with 5,000 ornaments and 8,000 lights. The facility held a tree-lighting ceremony on Nov. 16, including a free concert featuring pop artist AJ Mitchell and local band Raising Cain.
The shopping center's marketing director, Jen Simpson, said the center will recycle the tree at the end of the season. The mall has held the tree-lighting event for 14 years.
“It allows us to have an amazing tree here and spread the holiday spirit,” she said.