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 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.”
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 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.
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.