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'Mr. Christmas tree' has been delivering the holidays to the state capitol for 25 years

Mike Hughes cuts the two-and-a-half-story Christmas tree down and delivers it to the capitol in Denver every year.

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — We know, we know, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but it’s already time to start thinking about Christmas. 

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The most prominent Christmas tree in the state will soon make its way to the state capitol. Wednesday, the tree was cut down by the Colorado State Forest Service in a plot of land in North Larimer County.

"The capitol would like it to be at least 20 feet tall. And it needs to be full. And it needs to be that Christmas tree shape," said Mike Hughes, a forester with the Colorado State Forest Service. "It sits right there in the center foyer at the capitol building, so yes, it gets seen by a lot of people."

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If anyone is up for the challenge of picking the perfect Christmas tree for the entire state, it's Hughes. He's been in charge of hand-delivering the tree to the capitol for the past 25 years. 

"They call me the Christmas tree guy or Mr. Christmas tree," Hughes said.

After more than an hour scouring a plot of state forest land near the state line with Wyoming, Hughes settled on a large Subalpine Fir.

Credit: KUSA

"This is the one," he said. "Next stop is the capitol."

The tree is more than 40 years old, weighs several hundred pounds, and took several people to lift it up to load onto the trailer. 

Hughes, or Mr. Christmas Tree, will deliver the tree to the state capitol on Friday. From there it’ll take several days to decorate and put up before it’s ready for everyone to come look at it. 

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