CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Two Christmas trees were delivered to the Capitol Complex today to begin the celebration of the holiday season.
The two Canaan Firs were donated by Christmas Tree Farmer Jim Rockis from his property in Morgantown, WV.
“Cathy and I love to see the trees go up at the Capitol each year. They always bring so much joy to West Virginians and we love to turn the lights on at the annual Joyful Night celebration,” said Gov. Jim Justice. “We thank the Rockis family for their donation to West Virginia this year.”
The lights will be turned on during Joyful Night, the annual holiday celebration at the State Capitol held on December 3.
Rockis owns a farm where he grows Christmas trees and maintains over 12 different conifer seed orchards, which are primarily Canaan Fir. He also supplies a variety of seed and transplant materials to the Christmas tree and nursery industry through the country.
“When you think of the perfect Christmas tree to be displayed at our State Capitol that reflects what it means to be a West Virginian, you can’t find a better choice than a Canaan Fir,” said Rockis.
In the early 90s, Rockis worked with Dr.Franklin C. Cech, a forest genetics professor at West Virginia University, to improve the Canaan Fir, a tree similar in appearance to the highly sought after Fraser Fir but native to certain regions of West Virginia.
The donated trees were growing too tall on Rockis’ property and needed to be cut down due to power lines nearby. Rockis plans to plant new Canaan Fir trees again in that spot.
Monongalia County Commissioner Sean Sikora assisted Rockis in finding a local businessman, Ron Lytle with Lytle Construction Corp, who was willing to donate his services to cut down and transport the trees from Morgantown to Charleston.
“If we are anything here in Mon County, we are certainly proud of our citizens and local businesses. It will be awesome having trees from Mon County highlighting the holiday season at our State Capitol,” said Commissioner Sikora.