Nation's tallest Christmas tree hoisted into place at Anthem

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ANTHEM, Ariz. -- It's not even Halloween yet, but the folks at Outlets at Anthem are already getting into the Christmas spirit.

For the second year in a row, Outlets at Anthem will be home to the tallest fresh-cut Christmas tree in the entire country.

The 110-foot tall white fir was hoisted into place as Santa looked on Tuesday morning.

A crew of 14 will spend the next few weeks shaping and decorating the 12-ton tree, getting it ready for the official tree lighting on Saturday, Nov. 19.

The massive tree traveled nearly 750 miles on a stretch flatbed trailer from Northern California to its new home in the center court of Outlets at Anthem. the trip took four days.

By the time the decorating team is finished, more than 6,000 ornaments and nearly three miles of lights will adorn the tree. A handcrafted 3-foot copper star will grace the top.

Two years ago, Outlet at Anthem's 80-foot Christmas tree -- the tallest in Arizona -- was a casualty of a wicked winter storm that swept through the state less than three weeks before Christmas. Intense winds with gusts clocked up to 70 mph, unusual for early December, snapped off a 15-foot portion of the tree's top, leaving it nearly flat on top.

Unable to repair the damage, the Outlets at Anthem team saved the holiday spirit by topping the tree with a humongous Santa hat.

Outlets at Anthem is located off Interstate17, 15 minutes north of Loop 101, at the Anthem Way exit 229.