WASHINGTON—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 October 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 October 2012. It was damaged during a windstorm on January 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 December 9, 2019 through January 1, 2020.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. The National Park Service has cared for the White House and its grounds since 1933. President’s Park, which includes the Ellipse and Lafayette Park, was officially included in the national park system in 1961. Visit us at: www.nps.gov, on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter: www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube: www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help protect more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts and connect all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.