New National Christmas Tree planted at White House

The new National Christmas Tree was transplanted from Pennsylvania Saturday. The branches are still bound up; they’ll be untied over the next few days. (Courtesy National Park Service)

It’s beginning to look — well, a little like Christmas: A new National Christmas Tree has been planted in President’s Park, on the Ellipse near the White House.

The National Park Service said in a statement that the tree, a 30-foot Colorado blue spruce from Palmyra, Pennsylvania, was transplanted to D.C. on Friday and planted with the help of a crane Saturday morning.

The park service said it’s the right time of year for tree transplanting, but it’s still a shock for a big guy like this one, so they’ll need to keep an eye on it. The branches were bound up for the trip and will be untied over the next few days.

There’s been a living tree on the Ellipse since 1973; it’s only decorated at Christmastime, but it’s there all year. The previous tree, also a Colorado blue spruce, was brought from Virginia and planted in October 2012. The park service decided they needed a new one, saying the previous one had been damaged in 2014 by a windstorm, and last year when someone tried to climb it.

The National Christmas Tree will be lit for the first time Dec. 5; the lottery for tickets has already concluded. It will be lit up again Dec. 9 and then nightly through Jan. 1, 2020; the public is invited on those nights.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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