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White House National Christmas Tree Toppled Over by Wind Gusts

White House National Christmas Tree Toppled Over by Wind Gusts

The 40-foot cut Norway spruce was a replacement for the original planted tree, which developed a fungal disease and was removed on Nov. 11

<p>Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty</p> The National Christmas Tree in 2022

Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty

The National Christmas Tree in 2022

Powerful winds in Washington, D.C., toppled the National Christmas Tree on Tuesday.

According to the National Park Service (NPS), which oversees the President's Park where the tree was erected, the fully decorated tree fell after a strong gust hit around 2 p.m., per WUSA9.

The National Weather Service recorded winds as strong as 40 mph at Reagan National Airport on Tuesday.

Crews on the scene are working to stand the tree up again, according to Fox News.

The National Christmas Tree Lighting is scheduled to take place on Thursday on the Ellipse, just south of the White House, according to NPS.

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The parks agency told ABC News they are "hopeful" the event can still continue as planned.

<p>Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty</p>

Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty

"As the saying goes, 'the show must go on' and the NPS and our event partners are looking at all possibilities to ensure a successful event this year," an agency spokesperson said in a statement.

The 40-foot cut Norway spruce, which came from Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia, was actually a replacement for the original Christmas tree. According to an NPS release, the first tree, which was planted in October 2021, had to be removed on Nov. 11 after developing needle cast, a fungus condition that causes the needles to turn brown and fall off.

<p>Paul Morigi/Getty</p> The 2022 National Christmas Tree

Paul Morigi/Getty

The 2022 National Christmas Tree

NPS worked with the USDA Forest Service to source the cut Norway spruce in time for the season. Up until 1973, NPS used cut trees for the National Christmas trees. The agency said in the release that it plans to reevaluate whether to continue using cut trees or plant a new tree after the holiday season.

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Related: Jill Biden Receives the 'Magnificent' White House Christmas Tree Alongside Military Families

This year's tree lighting is significant as it marks the 100th anniversary of the annual holiday tradition. The first was celebrated by President Calvin Coolidge back in 1923.

Thursday's ceremony will be broadcast on CBS on Dec. 15 and is set to feature live performances by Dionne Warwick, Mickey Guyton, Darren Criss, Samara Joy and more.

Related: Jill Biden Unveils White House Holiday Decorations: 'Magic, Wonder, and Joy'

The National Christmas Tree, as well as 58 smaller trees, are open to the public to visit for free from Dec. 1 to Jan. 1. The trees are lit at sunset each night.

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