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Michigan State Capitol Christmas tree lights will be stored for reuse

2022 State Capitol tree.jpg
Scott Pohl
The 2022 state of Michigan Christmas tree has about 4,400 lights. The tree will be taken down in the first days of 2023.

In the days after New Year's Day, the state of Michigan Christmas tree in front of the state Capitol will come down.

The number of lights on the tree varies from year to year, based on its height and width. Matt White of Michigan Capitol Facility Operations says the biggest tree might have 7,000 lights. The tree this year has about 4,400.

Maintaining the tree is a team effort that includes the Lansing Board of Water and Light and the city’s forestry department. The strands of lights are taken down, and all of those bright, energy-efficient LED lights are stored for use in future years.

White says the strands get beat up by the elements and are not saved.

“When you have a strand of lights go out on your Christmas tree, it really shows up well, especially in the middle of the city,” White explained. “So, we generally put new strands on every year.”

Once the strands of lights are removed, White says the city of Lansing forestry department makes sure the wood doesn’t go to waste.

“They’ll take it down and they’ll chip it up to use the bark and everything for parks and everything like that,” he said. “Also, we get some to MSU, they have a wood shop out there that, they made park benches for MSU and different areas. A lot of wood gets repurposed.”

The tree will be taken down sometime after New Year’s Day.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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