East Arkansas tree farm supplies State Capitol Christmas tree for 4th year

© Alan Smith, Times-Herald of Forrest City

(Times-Herald of Forrest City) - Cole's Christmas Tree and Vegetable Farm was once again chosen to provide the Christmas tree that will be on display at the Arkansas State Capitol Building in Little Rock.

This is the fourth year the tree has come from Cole's. The first time was in 2008, and then 2009 and 2010. The tree did not come from the farm in Colt last year, but the state came calling again this year.

About 11 a.m., Saturday, Jeremy Bemis, of Bemis Tree Farm in Little Rock, and his crew traveled to Cole's to pick up the massive tree that was schedule to go up today in the Capitol's rotunda.

Dr. Robert Cole, the owner of the business, spoke about the tree and the honor of being selected to provide it. "The tree they picked this year is a Leyland Cypress and it's about 23 feet tall," said Cole. "When we didn't get a call last year about the tree, I wasn't looking for one this year. But they called us recently and came by and picked this one. We've been working to shape it for them.

"It is an honor anytime you are selected for something like this," Cole continued. "They spend a few thousand dollars to decorate it and it is really something to see. This tree will be for everyone in the state and that's an honor."

Bemis said his company prepares the trees for transport to the Capitol each year.

"We are tying the tree up so that we don't break branches," said Bemis.

The process was slow, with a specially-designed forklift attachment that was assembled at the base of the tree and then moved towards the top. Bemis wrapped rope around the tree to secure the branches. Some final trimming was done before it was hauled off to its new home.

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