List of sources of the National Christmas Tree (United States)

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The 2010 National Christmas Tree, located on the north end of the Ellipse, just south of the White House.
The 2012 National Christmas Tree on November 2, 2012, six days after it was planted.

Sources of the National Christmas Tree in the United States have varied over time. The first National Christmas Tree was erected and lit by President Calvin Coolidge in 1923.[1] As of 2011, the tradition has continued uninterrupted. The trees have come from a wide variety of sources, were placed or planted in different places on the grounds of the President's Park or the White House, have varied in height, and have sometimes been a cut tree and sometimes a living planted tree.

Cut evergreen trees were used in 1923 and from 1954 to 1972. Living trees were used from 1924 to 1953, and again from 1973 to the present (2011). In the list below, the height of the cut tree is the height of the tree when raised at the White House. The height of the living tree is the height when it was first planted. Several states and territories of the United States have provided these trees.

The trees have been placed in a wide variety of locations. These include The Ellipse (the portion of President's Park just south of the White House, across E Street NW), Sherman Plaza (the patio, garden, and public square just south of the Treasury Building and its adjacent Alexander Hamilton Place), Lafayette Park (the square north of the White House, across Pennsylvania Avenue NW), and the South Lawn of the White House.

Types, sources, heights, and locations of the National Christmas Trees[edit]

Year Cut or living Type of tree Source Height Location References
1923 Cut Balsam fir Vermont 48 feet (15 m) Middle of the Ellipse [2][3][4][5]
1924-1928 Living Norway spruce New York 35 feet (11 m) West side of Sherman Plaza [3][5][6][7]
1929-1930 Living Norway spruce New York 35 feet (11 m) West side of Sherman Plaza [8]
1931-1933 Living Blue spruce Washington, D.C. 25 feet (7.6 m) West side of Sherman Plaza [9]
1934-1938 Living Fraser fir
(two trees)
North Carolina 23 feet (7.0 m) Middle of Lafayette Square [10][11]
1939 Living
(transplanted after use)
Red cedar Virginia 36 feet (11 m) North side of the Ellipse [12][13]
1940 Living
(transplanted after use)
Red cedar Virginia 34 feet (10 m) North side of the Ellipse [10][14]
1941-1953 Living Oriental spruce
(two trees)
Washington, D.C. 35 feet (11 m) South side of the White House South Lawn [13][15][16]
1954 Cut Balsam fir Michigan 67 feet (20 m) North side of the Ellipse [17][18]
1955 Cut White spruce South Dakota 67 feet (20 m) North side of the Ellipse [19]
1956 Cut Engelmann spruce New Mexico 67 feet 3 inches (20.50 m) North side of the Ellipse [20]
1957 Cut White spruce Minnesota 60 feet (18 m) North side of the Ellipse [21]
1958 Cut Engelmann spruce Montana 75 feet (23 m) North side of the Ellipse [22]
1959 Cut White spruce Maine 72 feet (22 m) North side of the Ellipse [23]
1960 Cut Douglas fir Oregon 75 feet (23 m) North side of the Ellipse [24]
1961 Cut Douglas fir Washington 75 feet (23 m) North side of the Ellipse [25]
1962 Cut Blue spruce Colorado 72 feet (22 m) North side of the Ellipse [26]
1963 Cut Red spruce West Virginia 71 feet (22 m) North side of the Ellipse [27]
1964 Cut White spruce New York 72 feet (22 m) North side of the Ellipse [28]
1965 Cut Blue spruce Arizona 85 feet (26 m) North side of the Ellipse [29]
1966 Cut Red fir California 65 feet (20 m) North side of the Ellipse [30]
1967 Cut Balsam fir Vermont 70 feet (21 m) North side of the Ellipse [31]
1968 Cut Engelmann spruce Utah 74 feet (23 m) North side of the Ellipse [32]
1969 Cut Norway spruce New York 65 feet (20 m) North side of the Ellipse [33]
1970 Cut White spruce South Dakota 78 feet (24 m) North side of the Ellipse [34]
1971 Cut Douglas fir North Carolina 65 feet (20 m) North side of the Ellipse [35]
1972 Cut Engelmann spruce Wyoming 70 feet (21 m) North side of the Ellipse [36]
1973-1976 Living Blue spruce Colorado 42 feet (13 m) North side of the Ellipse [37]
1977 Living Blue spruce Maryland 34 feet (10 m) North side of the Ellipse [38]
1978-2010 Living Blue spruce New York 30 feet (9.1 m) North side of the Ellipse [39]
2011-2012 Living Blue spruce New Jersey 26.5 feet (8.1 m) North side of the Ellipse [40][41]
2012–present Living Blue spruce Virginia 28 feet (8.5 m) North side of the Ellipse [42]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schiavo, Laura. "1923 National Christmas Tree." President's Park (The White House). National Capital Region. National Park Service. U.S. Department of the Interior. No date. Accessed 2011-10-20.
  2. ^ Menendez, p. 40.
  3. ^ a b Crump, p. 402.
  4. ^ Reports of the tree's height varied considerably. The National Park Service history of the National Christmas Tree notes that media outlets reported the tree's height at 35 feet (11 m), 48 feet (15 m), and 60 feet (18 m). The agency says that photographs of the tree appear to make the height closer to 48 feet. See: Schiavo, Laura. "1923 National Christmas Tree." President's Park (The White House). National Capital Region. National Park Service. U.S. Department of the Interior. No date. Accessed 2011-10-20.
  5. ^ a b Park Cultural Landscapes Program, p. 35.
  6. ^ Menendez, p. 41.
  7. ^ A contemporary source put the tree's height at 45 feet (14 m). See: "Coolidge Will Light Big Christmas Tree." New York Times. December 7, 1924.
  8. ^ "The National Christmas Tree." American Lumberman. May 4, 1929.
  9. ^ Schiavo, Laura. "1924-1933 National Christmas Trees." President's Park (The White House). National Capital Region. National Park Service. U.S. Department of the Interior. No date. Accessed 2011-10-20.
  10. ^ a b Schiavo, Laura. "1934-1938 National Christmas Trees." President's Park (The White House). National Capital Region. National Park Service. U.S. Department of the Interior. No date. Accessed 2011-10-20.
  11. ^ Park Cultural Landscapes Program, p. 37.
  12. ^ "Roosevelt to Light National Christmas Tree Here Sunday." Washington Post. December 21, 1939.
  13. ^ a b Park Cultural Landscapes Program, p. 38.
  14. ^ Bookman, George B. "President Bares His Head to Listen To Carols With 8,000 on Ellipse." Washington Post. December 25, 1940.
  15. ^ Seeley, p. 42.
  16. ^ Schiavo, Laura. "1941-1953 National Christmas Trees." President's Park (The White House). National Capital Region. National Park Service. U.S. Department of the Interior. No date. Accessed 2011-10-24.
  17. ^ Folliard, Edward T. "Eisenhower Sets Peace Tree Aglow." Washington Post. December 18, 1954; "Giant Fir for Peace Pageant." Associated Press. November 23, 1954.
  18. ^ Park Cultural Landscapes Program, p. 39.
  19. ^ "Ike to Light Tree Here December 18." Washington Post. November 20, 1955.
  20. ^ Kelly, David J. "67-Foot Christmas Tree, Biggest for D.C., Placed." Washington Post. December 4, 1956.
  21. ^ "President Urges Toil to Win Peace." Associated Press. December 24, 1957; "Christmas Tree Picked for Fete." Washington Post. November 21, 1957.
  22. ^ "Hailey, Albon B. "Pageant Opens, Marking Yule Season's Start." Washington Post. December 23, 1958.
  23. ^ "D.C. Yule Tree Grows in Maine." Washington Post. November 11, 1959.
  24. ^ "Ellipse Gets Its Annual Visitor." Washington Post. December 9, 1960.
  25. ^ "Ellipse-Bound." Washington Post. November 23, 1961.
  26. ^ Gilliam, Dorothy. "President Sounds Hope for Peace In Lighting Up Nation's Yule Tree." Washington Post. December 18, 1962.
  27. ^ Clopton, Willard. "71-Foot West Virginia Yule Tree Erected on Ellipse." Washington Post. December 6, 1963.
  28. ^ Geremia, Ramon. "LBJ Sets Tree Aglow, Sees 'Star of Peace'." Washington Post. December 19, 1964.
  29. ^ "Raising of the Tree." Washington Post. December 3, 1965.
  30. ^ "Johnson, at Tree Lighting, Is Hopeful on Vietnam." New York Times. December 16, 1966.
  31. ^ "Johnson Lights Christmas Tree." Associated Press. December 19, 1967.
  32. ^ "Johnson Lights Nation's Christmas Tree and Voices Prayer for Peace." United Press International. December 17, 1968.
  33. ^ "Christmas Tree Taking 1st Step to White House." New York Times. November 22, 1969.
  34. ^ Federer, p. 186; "Daredevil Decorators 78 Feet Up." Washington Post. December 11, 1970.
  35. ^ Barker, Karlyn. "U.S. Has 4 National Christmas Trees." Washington Post. December 2, 1971.
  36. ^ "National Christmas Tree to Come From Wyoming." United Press International. October 25, 1972; Weil, Martin. "Tree Lit On Ellipse In the Rain." Washington Post. December 16, 1972.
  37. ^ Park Cultural Landscapes Program, p. 42.
  38. ^ Park Cultural Landscapes Program, p. 43.
  39. ^ "Strong Winds Topple National Christmas." Associated Press. February 19, 2011.
  40. ^ Office of Communications. "National Park Service to Plant New National Christmas Tree." Press release. National Capital Region. National Park Service. U.S. Department of the Interior. March 18, 2011.
  41. ^ Clary, Glen. "National Park Service to Replace National Christmas Tree." CNN.com. May 5, 2012. Accessed 2012-05-06.
  42. ^ Forzato, Jamie. "National Christmas Tree Planted Days Before Massive Storm." WTOP.com. October 28, 2012. Accessed 2012-11-01.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Crump, William D. The Christmas Encyclopedia. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2006.
  • Federer, William J. There Really Is A Santa Claus: The History of Saint Nicholas & Christmas Holiday Traditions. St. Louis, Mo.: Ameriserch, 2002.
  • Menendez, Albert J. Christmas in the White House. Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 1983.
  • Park Cultural Landscapes Program. National Park Service Cultural Landscapes Inventory: President's Park South, President's Park. National Park Service. U.S. Department of the Interior. 2010.
  • Seeley, Mary Evans. Season's Greetings From the White House. Tampa, Fla.: A Presidential Christmas, 1998.