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Strong winds topple National Christmas Tree

Powerful winds as high as 50 mph toppled over the National Christmas Tree near the White House.

February 20, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Powerful winds knocked over the National Christmas Tree near the White House.

Gusts as high as 50 miles per hour toppled the 42-foot-tall Colorado blue spruce Saturday morning.

The tree was planted in 1978 on the Ellipse just south of the White House and was lit each year by the first family.

The National Park Service said it's already picked out a replacement tree. The fallen tree was ground into mulch. The new tree will be moved and planted on the Ellipse sometime this spring.

The National Christmas Tree is separate from the White House Christmas tree which is harvested each year and set up inside.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.