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California's Official Christmas Tree Under Scrutiny

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The first one had a crack. Now the replacement California State Christmas Tree is facing backlash. While one certified arborist calls it a perfect specimen, others say it's ugly.

"This is my first time seeing it, so I was kind of shocked," Luis Galan said. "And then when you told me it was the Christmas tree for California, I was like, 'Wow,' like, 'Where's the rest of it?' The branches are really far apart. It's not really full. I don't know what happened in the budget for them to pick this tree."

People visiting the Capitol seemed surprised by the sparseness.

"For what they paid for it, I think they got robbed," Jean-Marie Stachelrodt said.

The state expenses for the tree are only from state employee time and fuel to bring it to the Capitol. The 60-plus-foot tall White Fir was chopped down from a state forest in Shasta County.

Independent Certified Arborist Jeffrey Strader, the owner of "A Better Tree Service," examined this California state Christmas tree and says despite some public opinion, he sees perfection.

"I see the perfect specimen," Strader said. "I think it's been very well cared for, absolutely pruned to perfection. The scaffolding, that's the permanent branching is spaced equitably, throughout the crown."

An expert's opinion, against the untrained eye. 'Tis the season at the California Capitol, where not even the official Christmas tree can escape scrutiny.

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