The president counted down from 10 before Melania Trump flipped a switch to light the tree at the White House Ellipse.
"We want to wish everybody a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year," Donald Trump told the crowd. "Have unbelievable holidays. And we are now going to light a very beautiful tree."
The lighting ceremony was accompanied by musical performances from Craig Campbell, Wynonna Judd, Boys II Bow Ties, The Texas Tenors, The Beach Boys, Jack Wagner, the U.S. Navy Band, Mannheim Steamroller, Us the Duo and Steve Gibson.
The event is organized by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation. President Calvin Coolidge began the National Tree Lighting tradition in 1923.
The televised special of the tree lighting ceremony is scheduled to air Monday on the Hallmark Channel.