CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Ed and Ginny Dumire used to put Christmas lights on the blue spruce outside their Randolph County home. But it grew so large that it blocked their view of their horses, so the couple decided over the summer to get rid of the tree.
Now it’s a centerpiece of West Virginia’s holiday celebration at the state Capitol.
“I was rather happy that at least it’s going to have a little bit of light shining on at the end of its life,” Ginny Dumire said.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will lead a lighting ceremony Tuesday night as part of the annual Joyful Night celebration in Charleston.
The Dumires planted the blue spruce as a seedling in front of their home in Beverly more than two decades ago. But in recent years, “we were finding that we had to go from one end of the house to the other to look out to check on the horses,” Ginny Dumire said.
So the tree had to go.
“But we hated to just cut it and put it on a brush pile someplace,” she said. “I really hate cutting a tree. My dad is one of those that always told me, ‘you never cut a tree that benefits an animal.’ And there were a lot of birds that nested in that tree.”
State Department of Administration spokeswoman Diane Holley-Brown said the Dumires’ tree will be on display at the Capitol’s north fountain. Another tree donated by a South Charleston church will adorn the Capitol’s south side.
And the holiday tree at the governor’s mansion will come from a familiar source. Al Tolliver’s Fayette County farm started providing trees for the mansion’s display in 2011. This year a Fraser Fir is being donated from the farm on behalf of the West Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association, of which Tolliver is a board member.
Tolliver also sells trees and wreaths for holiday displays out of the Charleston Capitol Market.