The 73-ft.-tall spruce Christmas tree that will be illuminated outside the U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C. this Christmas season has started its 24-day journey from the White River National Forest in Colorado en route to the nation’s capital.

The SmartWay-certified, custom-decorated Mack Pinnacle axle-back model sleeper clean diesel truck used to haul “The People’s Tree,” is a showcase of clean diesel technology — one of the many pieces of modern diesel technology that is transporting ‘The People’s Tree’ from Colorado to our nation’s capital,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, a “Forester Sponsor” of the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree tour.

“At the beginning it was a diesel-powered crane that placed the tree on the clean diesel truck that will transport it across the country using ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.  It’s fitting that clean diesel technology has a major role in this holiday project as it does in the daily lives of all Americans.”

“The emissions from this Mack truck are near zero thanks to its advanced clean diesel engine and new emissions control technology,” Schaeffer said.

 He added that the nationwide availability of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel gives the U.S. Forest Service great flexibility in choosing its routes across the country, compared with the limited availability of other fuel sources.

In addition, diesel-powered backup generators will provide power for the various ceremonies in communities along the tree’s journey, under the supervision of the U.S. Forest Service. The trip began Nov. 2 in Colorado and will end in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 26. The tree will be decorated with 5,000 ornaments made by Colorado school children.

Following is an overview of upcoming events planned in connection with the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Tour:

  • Nov. 10 – Pagosa – Alamosa, CO
  • Nov. 11 – Colorado Springs – Denver, CO
  • Nov. 12 – Greeley – LaJunta, CO
  • Nov. 13 – Albuquerque, NM
  • Nov. 14 – Amarillo, TX
  • Nov. 15 – Dallas, TX
  • Nov. 16 – Oklahoma City, OK
  • Nov. 17 – Independence (Kansas City), MO
  • Nov. 18 – St. Louis, MO
  • Nov. 19 – Nashville, TN
  • Nov. 20 – Atlanta, GA
  • Nov. 21 – Asheville, NC
  • Nov. 22 – Concord, NC
  • Nov. 23 – Staunton, VA
  • Nov. 24 – Allentown, PA – Milford, PA
  • Nov. 25 – Andrews AFB
  • Nov. 26 – U.S. Capitol, Washington D.C.

The Diesel Technology Forum will provide daily Twitter and Facebook updates on the tree’s expedition across the country.