A Franklin Tree is Headed to the State Capitol for Christmas

Christmas Tree Franklin
photo by Donna Vissman

A 35- foot Norway spruce tree in Franklin has been chosen as the official State of Tennessee Christmas tree and will be moving into its new home at the State Capitol soon.

The search for the official State of Tennessee Christmas tree begins in January with random drives throughout the State, shared Special Projects Manager for the State of Tennessee. Bill Tolbert. Tolbert says, to his knowledge, this is the first time a tree from Franklin has been selected.

To be chosen as the State of Tennessee Christmas Tree, the tree must be one that will be destroyed by new developments or interfering with the safety of powerlines. And that’s exactly what happened this year with a tree in Franklin. The tree sits very close to the power lines and would have to be removed or trimmed to the point it could possibly damage the tree.

The State approached the property owner Sherry Willheim about using the Norway Spruce and she agreed to donate the tree to be used as the official 2020 State of Tennessee Christmas tree.

Willhelm shared with us that the tree is on the property of her childhood home in Franklin. It’s been over two years since her parents passed, her mother in April 2018, her father in Janiary 2019, and to have the tree decorated in plain view at the Capitol during Christmas will be a special memory.

A date has been set for the removal of the tree. Afterward, there will be lights and decorations added to the tree. Then the 35 foot Norway spruce will be lit and displayed at the State Capitol beginning November 30 with a special dedication ceremony to Willhelm’s parents, Suzanne and Johnny Simmons.


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