National Christmas Tree Falls to High Winds

Feb 20th, 2011 | By | Category: Lifestyle

High winds that assailed Washington, DC Saturday blew down the National Christmas Tree, which had stood in President’s Park near the White House since 1978.

L72b US National Christmas Tree 2008 300x192 National Christmas Tree Falls to High Winds

2008 Lighting of the National Christmas Tree Ceremony

The National Christmas Tree was a Colorado blue spruce that stood 42 feet (13 meters) tall. It was transplanted from York, Pennsylvania after being planted in the front yard of Mr. and Mrs. William E. Myers as a Mother’s Day gift for Mrs. Myers from her grandchildren. The Myers family donated the tree in 1978. It was 46 years old.

The first National Christmas Tree was lit by President Calvin Coolidge in 1923. The tree donated by the Myers was transplanted when Jimmy Carter was in office. It had stood through the last six administrations.

Fortunately, no one was injured when the tree fell. “We’re glad that it took place at a time when people were away from the tree and we are saddened that it has happened,” said National Park Service spokesman Bill Line.

Line said that a replacement tree has already been identified. “I would say we’re sad, but we knew this would happen,’” Line explained, noting that two previous National Christmas Trees also fell to high winds. “Unlike in the forest, this tree was fully exposed . . . There was nothing to protect it.”

The tree was reduced to mulch within hours of its fall.

To read more about the National Christmas Tree tradition, visit the National Christmas Tree website at http://www.thenationaltree.org/.

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