PHOTOS: Wrangell’s Christmas tree tradition

Every year the City of Wrangell handpicks a tree to display downtown for the holidays. The town is in the heart of the Tongass National Forest, the largest forest in the U.S. (Laura Helgeson/ KSTK)
Wrangell’s Municipal Light and Power crew has been the one to cut down, put up and decorate the tree for over four decades. (Laura Helgeson/ KSTK)
The crew drove out Zimovia Highway, roughly one mile off the pavement, to get the spruce tree on the Friday before Thanksgiving. (Laura Helgeson/ KSTK)
The line crew says this may be the tallest tree yet. The crew usually picks a 40-foot tree, but this year’s was 50 to 60 feet tall. There as no particular reason for the extra height, it’s just what they found. (Laura Helgeson/ KSTK)
The tree has had a few different homes downtown. It now sits in between the Elks Lodge and a gas station. (Laura Helgeson/ KSTK)
The line crew is assigned this project every year. It’s one city department that possesses the right equipment and expertise to get the job done. (Laura Helgeson/ KSTK)
When the crew isn’t putting up the tree, it’s making sure the town has power year-round. (Laura Helgeson/ KSTK)
Once the tree is standing tall in the city’s center, the line crew puts up lights and ornaments. (Laura Helgeson/ KSTK)
Evergreen Elementary students make ornaments every year for the tree. This ornament is made out of a plastic to-go container and cellophane wrap. (Laura Helgeson/ KSTK)
Chris Stewart has been an apprentice lineman with the crew for two years. (Laura Helgeson/ KSTK)
Dwight Yancey has been a lineman with in Wrangell for 9 years. (Laura Helgeson/ KSTK)
Wrangell High School senior Jing O’Brien takes a closer look at the tree. (Laura Helgeson/ KSTK)
The tree will stay up until the beginning of 2020. (Laura Helgeson/ KSTK)