Commissioner Steve Troxler: A North Carolina Fraser Fir goes to Washington (as in the White House)

Summary: For the 13th time, a North Carolina Fraser fir will grace the Blue Room of the White House after North Carolina grower Larry Smith of Mountain Top Fraser Fir won the national tree contest. This was Smith’s fifth time entering, and the fifth time was the charm.

  • I was recently in Newland for the cutting of the White House Christmas tree and it was a beautiful Fraser fir tree grown by Larry Smith of Mountain Top Fraser Fir.
  • Since 1966, members of the National Christmas Tree Association have presented the official White House Christmas tree for display in the Blue Room.
  • Each year the association hosts a national tree contest where growers, industry experts and consumers vote to select the grower who will provide the White House tree.
  • To qualify for the national contest, growers must first win their state or regional competitions.
  • This was the fifth time Larry entered the competition and the fifth time was obviously the charm.
  • No other Christmas tree species has made as many appearances at the White House as the Fraser Fir. This marked the 13th time a North Carolina Fraser Fir has graced the White House, the most of any other state.
  • The Fraser Fir is often referred to as the Cadillac of trees and this one was no exception. Smith estimated the 19 and a half foot tall tree was 25 years old and weighed about 800 pounds. It had that great fresh tree smell the Fraser Fir is known for and was a beautifully shaped tree.
  • I don’t think the White House could have made a better selection.
  • The good news is consumers can enjoy a smaller version in their own homes. Fresh North Carolina Christmas trees will soon be available at roadside stands, farmers markets and in stores.
  • Here are a few North Carolina Christmas tree facts and figures:
    • 3 million trees sold annually for about $85 million in sales
    • North Carolina produces about 20 percent of the Christmas trees grown in the United States
    • 800 growers
    • 37 million trees planted on 32,000 acres
  • Our top tree-growing counties are: Ashe, Avery, Alleghany, Watauga, and Jackson.
  • When you buy a real Christmas tree, you are supporting our tree farmers. Remember, when you want the very best, it’s Got to Be NC.