WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) – Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee – on Wednesday, applauded West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest, the National Park Service (NPS) and the U.S. Forest Service for replacing the National Christmas Tree at the White House ahead of this year’s lighting ceremony. The previous tree had to be removed last week after developing needle cast, a fungal disease that causes the tree’s needles to turn brown and fall off.
“I’m so proud Monongahela National Forest is now providing both the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree and the National Christmas Tree this year,” said Senator Manchin. “These tree lighting celebrations are wonderful traditions that bring our great country together, and West Virginia’s role this year will be absolutely historic. I’m grateful to the Forest Service, the National Park Service, Monongahela National Forest staff members and everyone else who is playing a role in making these exciting events a reality. The Mountain State is truly wild and wonderful, and I can’t wait to showcase our strong community spirit and remarkable forestry with my fellow Americans this holiday season.”
The NPS collaborated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service to find a replacement tree to plant on the Ellipse at The White House and President’s Park. The 40-foot Norway spruce comes from Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. This is the first time the NPS and USDA Forest Service have partnered to bring a tree to the Ellipse.
West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest is also providing the 2023 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree – known as “The People’s Tree” – lights up the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol during the holiday season and is selected from a different national forest each year.