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America's National Christmas Tree came tumbling down Saturday in a windstorm that battered the U.S. capital.

The 47-year-old, 42-foot-high (13-metre) Colorado blue spruce, which the president lit each year to mark the Christmas season, snapped near its base on the Ellipse near the White House.

"We're glad that there are no injuries," said Bill Line, a spokesman for the National Park Service.

"We're glad that it took place at a time when people were away from the tree and we are saddened that it has happened," he told Washington TV station WRC4.

Line said a new tree would be up in time for next Christmas.