The National Christmas Tree, a 48-foot Colorado blue spruce from York, PA planted during the Carter Administration in 1978, was a casualty to the very high winds in the District today. The tree was split near its base, and felled without injury or structural damage, according to DC Fire EMS and the National Park Police.
No plans are immediately available for the replanting of the tree, or the disposal of the current tree.
An NPS horticulturalist, and National Park Service spokesman Bill Line, are saying that a “successor” tree is ready for planting on the spot as soon as the current tree is disposed of — chipped and mulched, starting today. The tree that fell today was the third tree of its kind on that spot — prior trees had also been blown over in high winds, and the Park Service specifically has advance plans in place for just such an event.
The next tree will be up in time for “next year’s Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony.” Not clear from that if Mr. Line was thinking in 2010 terms and meant to say “in time for the next Christmas Tree Lighting,” or if it’ll take till 2012 to get a new tree into the spot.
More photos after the jump: