Even the National Park Service is picking more resilient trees for its installations these days. Ahead of the holiday season, the National Park Service (NPS) planted a new National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse in President’s Park. The new tree, a 27′ white fir (Abies Concolor) from Middleburg, PA was donated by Hill View Christmas Tree Farm, and will be the first white fir to serve as the National Christmas Tree. The NPS selected a white fir because it is more resilient to needle cast disease, a fungal disease that affects spruce trees and causes their needles to turn brown and fall off. The previous tree, a Colorado blue spruce planted in October 2019, succumbed to needle cast disease.
Since 1973, the National Christmas Tree has been a living tree that people can view year-round in President’s Park. The NPS transported the new tree from PA to the Ellipse and planted the tree on October 30 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.
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 musical performances and national performers.
Another U.S. Christmas Tree, the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, or “The People’s Tree,” is a cut tree that graces the Capitol lawn and is cut from a different national forest each year. The 2021 tree, from Six Rivers National Forest in California is also a white fir. It’s currently on its road tour to the Capitol. Live tracking of the tree’s journey began October 29 and can be viewed here. The remaining scheduled stops include:
November 11 – Albuquerque, NM
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – New Mexico Veterans’ Memorial – 1100 Louisiana Blvd. SE #5009, Albuquerque, NM 87108
November 13 – Fayetteville, AR
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Lot 56 – S. Razorback Road & MLK Jr Blvd, Fayetteville, AR 72701
November 13 – Springfield, MO
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Bass Pro Shops HQ – 1935 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield, MO 65807
November 16 – Williamsport, MD
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Williamsport Town Hall – 2 N. Conococheague St., Williamsport, MD
The tree will be delivered to the West Lawn of the Capitol Building on November 19. For more information, visit here.