79-foot Montana Christmas tree lit outside U.S. Capitol

AP

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  • The 2017 Capitol Christmas Tree is lit by House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., right, and Ridley Brandmayr of Bozeman, Mont., left, on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. The Capitol Christmas Tree has been a tradition since 1964, and this year's tree was chosen from Kootenai National Forest in Montana. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

  • 1

    The 2017 Capitol Christmas Tree is lit on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. The Capitol Christmas Tree has been a tradition since 1964, and this year's tree was chosen from Kootenai National Forest in Montana. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

  • 2

    The 2017 Capitol Christmas Tree is lit by House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., right, and Ridley Brandmayr of Bozeman, Mont., left, on the West Lawn of theU.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. The Capitol Christmas Tree has been a tradition since 1964, and this year's tree was chosen from Kootenai National Forest in Montana. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

  • 3

    Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, walks to a podium to speak during the 2017 Capitol Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. The Capitol Christmas Tree has been a tradition since 1964, and this year's tree was chosen from Kootenai National Forest in Montana. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

  • 4

    From left, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., attends the 2017 Capitol Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

  • 5

    House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., left, and Ridley Brandmayr of Bozeman, Mont., right, take a photograph before lighting the 2017 Capitol Christmas Tree during a ceremony on the West Lawn of the Capitol Building, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. The Capitol Christmas Tree has been a tradition since 1964, and this year's tree was chosen from Kootenai National Forest in Montana. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

  • 6

    The United States Marine Band plays before the 2017 Capitol Christmas Tree is lit on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. The Capitol Christmas Tree has been a tradition since 1964, and this year's tree was chosen from Kootenai National Forest in Montana. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

  • The 2017 Capitol Christmas Tree is lit by House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., right, and Ridley Brandmayr of Bozeman, Mont., left, on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. The Capitol Christmas Tree has been a tradition since 1964, and this year's tree was chosen from Kootenai National Forest in Montana. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

  • 1

    The 2017 Capitol Christmas Tree is lit on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. The Capitol Christmas Tree has been a tradition since 1964, and this year's tree was chosen from Kootenai National Forest in Montana. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

  • 2

    The 2017 Capitol Christmas Tree is lit by House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., right, and Ridley Brandmayr of Bozeman, Mont., left, on the West Lawn of theU.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. The Capitol Christmas Tree has been a tradition since 1964, and this year's tree was chosen from Kootenai National Forest in Montana. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

  • 3

    Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, walks to a podium to speak during the 2017 Capitol Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. The Capitol Christmas Tree has been a tradition since 1964, and this year's tree was chosen from Kootenai National Forest in Montana. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

  • 4

    From left, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., attends the 2017 Capitol Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

  • 5

    House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., left, and Ridley Brandmayr of Bozeman, Mont., right, take a photograph before lighting the 2017 Capitol Christmas Tree during a ceremony on the West Lawn of the Capitol Building, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. The Capitol Christmas Tree has been a tradition since 1964, and this year's tree was chosen from Kootenai National Forest in Montana. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

  • 6

    The United States Marine Band plays before the 2017 Capitol Christmas Tree is lit on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. The Capitol Christmas Tree has been a tradition since 1964, and this year's tree was chosen from Kootenai National Forest in Montana. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Christmas tree that was transported more than 3,600 miles (5,793 kilometers) from Montana’s Kootenai National Forest has been lit on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

Ridley Brandmayr, an 11-year-old Bozeman boy, lit the 79-foot (24-meter) tree during a ceremony Wednesday evening. The Engelmann Spruce was cut in November and features 12,500 handmade ornaments.

The tradition started in 1964 when Speaker of the House John McCormack placed a live Christmas tree on the Capitol lawn. Nowadays, a different National Forest is chosen each year to provide “The People’s Tree.”

Montana Sen. Jon Tester chose Brandmayr to light the tree because of the boy’s perseverance following a kitchen accident in which he lost the fingers on his right hand. Tester lost three fingers when he was a boy.

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