Heather and Tony Sampson from West Bay, Richmond Co. are this year's tree donors. (DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTRY)

Nova Scotia has picked a 45-foot white spruce tree from Cape Breton Island to send to Boston as a thank you to the city for sending aid after the Halifax Explosion in 1917.

Heather and Tony Sampson from West Bay, Richmond Co. are this year's tree donors.

"It's been a tough year for everybody and hopefully the tree will put some smiles on everyone's faces. That's what the Tree for Boston is about, wishing everybody well and staying safe," said Heather Sampson.

The province says it is dedicating this year's tree to health-care workers to honour both Boston's response after the Halifax Explosion and those who are working on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We thank Boston for their kindness during our time of need by sending a big, beautiful Nova Scotia Christmas tree," said Lands and Forestry Minister Derek Mombourquette. "This important tradition symbolizes gratitude, friendship and remembrance."

Tony Sampson says there is also a family connection to Boston.

"My stepfather's mother was adopted from Boston when she was two. The tree comes from our property, which was passed down through the family. We've watched it grow for many years. It has quite a bit of meaning to me and my family to send Nova Scotia's gift to the people of Boston," said Tony Sampson.

The tree-lighting will be broadcast on ABC affiliate WCVB Channel 5 Boston on Dec. 3.