Gusty winds topple National Christmas Tree near the White House

The National Christmas Tree in D.C. near the White House is once again upright after strong winds toppled it Tuesday afternoon.

The tree fell over around 1 p.m. during a strong wind gust, the National Park Service said.

“After assessing the tree’s condition and replacing a snapped cable, the tree is now upright as of 6 p.m.,” a National Park Service spokesman said in statement.

The National Christmas Tree is upright again after strong winds blew it over. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

The Park Service said earlier that it was optimistic that the “show must go on” for Thursday’s tree lighting.

It’s not the first hurdle for the National Christmas Tree, which is a 40-foot Norway spruce from Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia that arrived in D.C. earlier this month.

The tree was placed at President’s Park on the Ellipse instead of being planted.

“At least since 1973, the National Christmas trees have been planted,” National Park Service spokeswoman Chelsea Sullivan told WTOP earlier. “However, prior to 1973, a cut tree was used.”

The Park Service decided to break tradition after the previous tree planted on Oct. 30, 2021, was removed on Nov. 11 after developing a fungal disease. The decision not to plant the tree was due to time constraints, Sullivan said.

Local news cameras captured crews using a crane to lift the fallen tree and bring it back to an upright position.

And while the tree is once again up and illuminated, it will require some rearrangements for Thursday’s official lighting, said WTOP’s Dick Uliano, who reported from the Ellipse.

Northwest winds ushered in a cold snap Tuesday, with winds between 10 to 20 mph and gusts of up to 35 mph. Tuesday recorded wind gusts of between 30 to 40 mph, which 7News First Alert meteorologist Mark Pena said was certainly enough to tip over the tree.

Gusty winds made it feel even colder. 7News First Alert meteorologists branded Tuesday a “cold alert” day.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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