The National Christmas Tree, located on the Ellipse south of the White House, has been lost due to complications resulting from transplant shock according to the National Park Service.
The deceased tree was to be removed this past weekend.
The Colorado blue spruce came from a tree farm in New Jersey and was planted on the Ellipse on March 19, 2011, and was decorated and lit nightly during the 2011 National Christmas Tree Lighting event. The tree replaced a tree of the same variety that was planted on the Ellipse in 1978 and fell due to high winds on February 19, 2011.
In the 1970s the NPS initiated a permanent shift from cut trees to a live tree. Trees planted in 1973 and 1977 were lost due to damage and failure to thrive. The third tree, planted in 1978, survived until the wind storm of February 19, 2011.
As a standing practice, NPS always has a successor tree identified in order to ensure that a suitable National Christmas Tree will be in place for the National Christmas Tree Lighting event held each December. The National Park Service has already identified a Colorado blue spruce tree located in an adjacent state as the future National Christmas Tree.
The Park Service will plant the new National Christmas Tree in late October 2012, which is a suitable time period to transplant and which will allow time for the tree to be decorated for the 2012 National Christmas Tree Lighting event.