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Contact: Katie Liming, 202-619-7156
Just in time for the holidays, the National Park Service (NPS) has planted a new National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse in President’s Park. The new tree is a 30-foot Colorado blue spruce from Palmyra, Pa. The new National Christmas Tree will be lit for the first time on Dec. 5 during the 97th National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony.
The NPS transported the new tree from Pa. to the Ellipse on Friday, and planted the tree this morning via crane. Transplanting and maintaining such a large tree is challenging and requires careful planning and mild weather conditions. Late Oct. is an ideal time for planting, but there is still a chance of transplant shock. NPS horticulturists will keep a close eye on the tree’s health and ensure its transition is as easy as possible. The tree branches were bound for transport and will be unbound over the next few days.
The previous tree was a Colorado blue spruce from Virginia, planted in Oct. 2012. It was damaged during a windstorm on Jan. 3, 2014, and in 2018 when an individual attempted to climb the tree.
Since 1973, the National Christmas Tree has been a living tree cared for by the NPS. The National Christmas Tree can be viewed year-round on the Ellipse in President’s Park — one of America’s 419 national parks!
Presented by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place annually in President’s Park. The event features a countdown to the official lighting of the new National Christmas Tree and live musical performances by local and national performers. The festivities continue with a daily lighting of the tree; free evening musical performances; and a chance to see the 56 state, district and territory trees and their ornaments up close from Dec. 9, 2019 through Jan. 1, 2020.
Last updated: October 28, 2019