The North Carolina 19-foot Fraser fir selected last month to grace the Blue Room in the White House this Christmas was delivered Tuesday.
Siblings Amber Scott and Alex Church from Cline Church Nursery in Fleetwood, Ashe County, were on hand to greet First Lady Jill Biden, as Clydesdales Ben and Winston brought the tree up the White House driveway on a carriage.
The National Christmas Tree Association chose Cline Church Nursery as the 2023 Grand Champion Grower.
The association holds a contest every two years in which consumers, industry experts, and growers choose which nurseries will provide trees for the White House and the vice president’s official residence, continuing a 58-year-old tradition.
This year marks the 15th time a tree from the Tar Heel State was chosen as the official Christmas tree for the White House, more than any other state in the nation. The last time was in 2021, when a Fraser fir tree was donated from Peak Farms, owned by Rusty and Beau Estes, from Jefferson in Ashe County.
“Ruby,” a 78-foot tall red spruce from North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest, was chosen as the 2022 US Capitol Christmas Tree.
North Carolina is the second-largest Christmas tree-producing state in the nation and is known for the Fraser fir — native to the Appalachian Mountains — and the most popular Christmas tree choice.
This isn’t the first time Cline Church Nursery has received a special honor. In 2022, they were selected as Reserve Champion by the NCTA and presented a North Carolina Fraser fir Christmas tree for display in the vice president’s residence.
The 2024 White House Christmas Tree will also come from North Carolina. Cartner Christmas Tree Farm, from Newland in Avery County, was selected as the NCTA’s 2024 Grand Champion Grower.