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National Christmas Tree Has Died Near White House

National Christmas Tree

05/05/12 11:43 AM ET  AP

WASHINGTON — Federal officials say the National Christmas Tree planted near the White House a year ago has died and is being removed.

The National Park Service says the Colorado blue spruce died of "transplant shock." It came from a tree farm in New Jersey last year and was planted on the Ellipse just south of the White House in March 2011.

The tree replaced a tree that had stood on the Ellipse since 1978 but was destroyed by high winds in February 2011.

Workers are removing the dead tree Saturday. The National Park Service says it has already identified a Colorado blue spruce to replace the tree and will plant the new National Christmas Tree in October, just in time to be decorated for the holiday.

Earlier on HuffPost:

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  • National Christmas Tree Lighting 2011

    The 2011 National Christmas Tree is lit by U.S. President Barack Obama and the First Family during a ceremony on The Ellipse near the White House in Washington, D.C., on December 1, 2011. (SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • National Christmas Tree Lighting 2011

    People gather around the National Christmas Tree after it was was lit during its lighting ceremony on December 1, 2011 at the Ellipse, south of the White House, in Washington, D.C. The first family participated in the 89th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  • National Christmas Tree Lighting 2011

    U.S. President Barack Obama sings with Santa Claus during the 2011 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on The Ellipse near the White House in Washington, D.C, on December 1, 2011. (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • National Christmas Tree Lighting 2011

    U.S. President Barack Obama smiles with daughters Sasha (L) and Malia (R) while watching First Lady Michelle Obama read to children during the annual lighting of the National Christmas tree on December 1, 2011 at The Ellipse in Washington, D.C. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • National Christmas Tree Lighting 2011

    The 2011 National Christmas Tree is lit by U.S. President Barack Obama and the First Family during a ceremony on The Ellipse near the White House in Washington, D.C., on December 1, 2011. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

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Filed by Michael McLaughlin  |