Followings its 130-mile trip from Palmyra to the nation’s capital, a Lebanon County-raised 30-foot Colorado blue spruce is now installed on The Ellipse as the country’s newest National Christmas Tree.

The new National Christmas Tree arrives on site at The Ellipse, one of America’s 419 National Parks, located just south of the White House and north of the National Mall. (National Park Service)

Read More: National Christmas Tree mystery solved, Palmyra donors’ tree headed to D.C.

The previous tree, also a Colorado blue spruce, had been planted on The Ellipse in Oct. 2012. That tree was damaged during a windstorm on Jan. 3, 2014, and also in 2018 when an individual attempted to climb it.

“Transplanting and maintaining such a large tree is challenging and requires careful planning and mild weather conditions,” said the National Park Service in a press release. “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 30-foot Colorado blue spruce is fastened to the crane before being hoisted into place. (National Park Service)

Upon arrival in D.C., the tree was lifted into place by crane and its branches were unbound. The tree will be lit Dec. 5 during the 97th National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, a joint presentation of the National Park Service and National Park Foundation.

The country’s newest National Christmas Tree is firmly planted following its 130-mile trip from Palmyra to D.C. (Reader submission)

The National Park Service has cared for the living National Christmas Tree since 1973. The first National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony was held in 1923 under President Calvin Coolidge.

A shot showing the full tree after it had been placed on The Ellipse. The tree will be lit in a ceremony Dec. 5. (Reader submission)

Tickets for the ceremony were available through an online lottery, although the period to enter has since closed. Tree donors Lin Ly and Kimleang Sour received a special invitation though, as reported in our article earlier this week.

Even if you can’t attend the lighting ceremony itself though, there will still be plenty of opportunities to experience tree festivities over the coming weeks. Following the official ceremony, the tree will be lit daily with additional free evening performances and, from Dec. 9 through Jan. 1, a chance to see other decorated trees from 56 states, districts, and territories.

You can find more information on these events at the National Christmas Tree website.

This post has been updated to correct a typo in the donors’ name. LebTown sincerely regrets the error.


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