White House Christmas tree dies

The National Christmas Tree planted near the White House a year ago has died and is being removed, federal officials said.

The National Park Service said 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 one that had stood on the Ellipse since 1978 but was destroyed by high winds in February 2011.

Workers were removing the dead tree. The National Park Service said 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 season.