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New National Christmas Tree planted at President's Park

The new tree is a 27-foot white fir donated from Middleburg, Pennsylvania.

WASHINGTON — Ahead of the holiday season, the National Park Service planted a new National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse in President's Park on Saturday.

The new tree is a 27-foot white fir from Middleburg, Pennsylvania, the National Park Service said in a release. The tree was donated by Hill View Christmas Tree Farm and will be the first white fir to serve as the National Christmas Tree.

Since 1973, the National Christmas Tree has been a living tree that people can view year-round at President's Park. The National Park Service said a white fir was selected because it is more resilient to needle cast disease. Needle cast disease is a fungal disease that affects spruce trees and causes their needles to fall off. The previous tree, a Colorado blue spruce planted in October 2019, succumbed to needle cast disease, according to the National Park Service.

Credit: National Park Service
A new National Christmas Tree was planted in President's Park Saturday morning. The tree branches were bound for transport and will be unbound over the next few days.

NPS officials say transporting and taking care of such a large tree can be challenging and requires careful planning and mild weather conditions. Late October is an ideal time for planting, but there is still a chance for transplant shock, experts say. NPS horticulturists will keep an eye on he tree's health and ensure its transition is as easy as possible.

Soon, the tree will be lit up during the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in President's Park. The event features a countdown to the official lighting and musical performances. 

Details about this year's tree lighting event have not yet been released.

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