LANSING, Michigan — It might be summertime, but the search is already on for the state of Michigan's Christmas tree.
The Department of Technology, Management and Budget announced Tuesday that it's looking for a 65-foot spruce or fir and is taking nominations. The tree that is selected will be cut down and displayed on the front lawn of the Capitol starting in November.
"It may seem a little early to start talking about finding a Christmas tree in July, but it takes a considerable amount of time and effort to find just the right tree and plan for getting it to the state Capitol," Phil Jeffery, the agency's chief deputy director, said in a statement.
The tree must meet certain specifications, including being easily accessible from a road with no interference from wires. It also must be offered for free.
The state partners with the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association to bring the tree to Lansing. In past years, trees have been found across the state, including as close to Lansing as Grand Ledge. Last year's tree came from Iron River in the Upper Peninsula.
Nominations are requested by Aug. 15. After delivery of the tree, a state crew then works with Lansing's Hi-Ball Co., which volunteers a crane and crew to set the tree. A tree-lighting takes place as part of the annual Silver Bells in the City celebration.