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First Lady to accept Mahoning tree Friday

Published November 23. 2010 05:00PM

Yesterday at noon, a 20-foot Douglas fir to be adorned in the White House in Washington D.C. was cut down on a Mahoning Township tree farm.

For the second time the Crystal Spring Tree Farm, located next to Mahoning Elementary School, is supplying the tree for the Blue Room of the White House.

The tree will be transported to Washington D.C. by Francis and Margaret Botek, and their son, Chris, owners of the tree farm. It is scheduled to be formally presented by them to First Lady Michelle Obama at 2 p.m. Friday.

Crystal Spring was selected to supply the tree after it won a competition at the National Christmas Tree Growers Association annual gathering held several months ago in North Carolina.

The local growers had supplied the tree for the Blue Room in 2006.

When asked what she will say to Mrs. Obama if she gets a chance to speak with the First Lady, Margaret said she will say, what a "pleasure to present to you this Christmas Tree from Carbon County, Pennsylvania."

Although the tree stood 20-feet in the field, it will be trimmed to measure exactly 18 1/2 feet while on display in the Blue Room.

The tree was carefully cut by Chris Botek with a chain saw while employees of the tree farm pulled on it. Then it was placed in a baler, wrapped with twine, and laid on a flatbed truck for Thursday's delivery to Washington.

Crystal Spring Tree Farm was also chosen again, for about the 17th year, to supply dozens of trees for the state government offices in Harrisburg, including one for the governor's residence.

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