NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Monday night, the state capitol will kick off the Christmas season with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting. 

The tree, which was harvested from a local resident’s yard and placed on top of the Motlow Tunnel underneath Legislative Plaza, will be decorated this week and lit for the first time this holiday season Monday, Nov. 28.

The festivities start at 4:45 p.m., with the actual lighting happening at around 6:20 p.m., according to Bill Tolbert, Special Projects Manager for the state. 

The selection of the annual State tree is a collaborative effort, Tolbert said, with suggestions coming from local residents as well as research from state employees. 

“They are from individuals that either we as a state contact or, oftentimes, they contact us at the state, and we go out, inspect them, see the availability of harvesting them, getting them out, any power lines near them, if they’re in ditches, whatever the case may be to make the process as feasible as possible,” Tolbert told News 2. 

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The state looks for a Norway Spruce, Tolbert added, and the tree should be between 32 and 42 feet tall. Because the tree is placed on the plaza, where the Motlow Tunnel from the State Capitol Building to the Cordell Hull State Office Building runs, Tolbert said there is also a weight consideration that factors into the tree decision. 

“It can’t be more than 2,000 pounds,” he said.  

This year’s tree weighs in at 1,100 pounds, according to Tolbert. 

The tree will remain on the plaza through Christmas before being taken down Dec. 27, Tolbert said. After that, the tree is chipped into mulch, which is then donated to the Metro Parks Department for use around the city. 

“It benefits the environment and Nashville community,” he said. 

Tolbert thanked the family responsible for this year’s state tree. Suzie and Joe Barry donated the tree, which they planted as their daughter’s first Christmas tree, Tolbert said. It was on the Barry’s property for 21 years before being harvested by a Nashville Electric Service crew for use as the state tree. 

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“It had overgrown the space that it was in, so they were going to have to take it out, and we were more than happy to take it,” Tolbert said. “It has fulfilled its destiny to be a Christmas tree.”