For the 12th time in 1966, North Carolina is sending a Chiristmas tree to the White House. Also, the second choice in trees is leaving North Carolina this Saturday to go to Blair House, the Vice-presidential residence.
These trees were chosen by White House staff back in October, the White House tree is coming from Peak Farm, owned and operated by the father and son team of Russell and Beau Estes of Jefferson. The tree in Blair House is coming from Cool Springs Nursery in Banner Elk, owned by Paul Smith.
Both trees will be traveling on Got to be NC trucks this Saturday from the North Carolina mountains to Washington D.C.
“We had a good run years ago when we were sending the tree year after year, but then evidently a judge made a mistake and another state did win. But we are very excited this year to not only get the champion, but also the reserve champion. So we have one tree going to the Vice Presidential residence.
This year we have Russell and Beau Estes of Jefferson that earned the right to provide the official 2012 White House Christmas tree. This is a father and son team that owns Peak Farm. It was actually the grand champion at the 2012 National Christmas Tree Association contest that was held this summer.
The White House staff actually comes out to make the selection in October. They come and choose a Frazier Fir and its loaded onto a Got to Be NC Truck and goes to DC. It will be loaded on November 17.
Paul Smith is the owner of Cool Springs Nursery and was selected as the reserve champion. I’m not sure that two growers from the same state have been chosen as champions ever before that I remember. The Christmas tree industry in North Carolina does rank second nationally in Christmas tree income behind Oregon. Last year, farm income from Christmas trees totaled $75 million dollars in NC.
The green industry in NC, including Christmas trees, green houses and nursery, floriculture; all of those combine to bring in about $709 million in farm income in 2011.”