D.C.

National Christmas Tree to be planted this weekend

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The National Park Service says a new National Christmas Tree will be planted on the Ellipse near the White House this weekend.

The planting is scheduled for Saturday before Hurricane Sandy is expected to strike the Mid-Atlantic region. A 28-foot-tall Colorado blue spruce is being transported to Washington from a site in Virginia.

The new tree will replace one that died after a year from transplant shock. The previous tree replaced one that stood on the Ellipse since 1978 but was destroyed by high winds in February 2011.

Workers removed the last tree in May. They planned at the time to plant a new tree in October - just in time to be decorated for the annual holiday tree lighting ceremony.

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