On September 24, 2018, White Officials came to Mountain Top Fraser Fir farm in Newland, NC owned by Larry Smith to select the tree being showcased in the Blue Room of the White House. Larry won this honor being the grand champion of the NC Christmas Tree Association contest and then the National Christmas Tree Contest in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Smith had attempted to win the contest 5 times.
The Christmas Tree was selected by White Chief Usher, Timothy Harleth, and Superintendent of the grounds, Dale Haney. Larry had selected 10 trees that would fit in the standards of the Blue room. After going around they selected the tree and topped it with a red bow.
The tree selection was followed by a brief press conference where Larry Smith, Jennifer Greene, Executive Director of NCCTA, and Timothy Harleth spoke. Larry Smith got emotional after speaking about how much this meant to him.
The Tree Cutting Ceremony was on November 14, 2018. Larry Smith was accompanied by his family and media while cutting the tree. The tree had to be lifted by a crane and placed on the bed of the truck in order to be sent to the loading site. The tree was 19 feet and 800 pounds. Before sending it on its way Larry cut a sliver off the trunk to have as a souvenir to remember this special day.
The tree was then transported to Mountain Glen Golf Course where there was a brief press conference. Steve Troxler, Jennifer Greene, Jerry Moody, and Larry Smith all spoke about this honor and what it means to Larry and the State of North Carolina. The tree was then loaded with the help of the Avery County High School JROTC. The tree then made its journey to White House going through Lenoir where Larry has a retail lot.
On November 19, 2018, the tree was presented to the First Family, Donald, and Melania Trump by Larry Smith and his family. The tree was then put up in the Blue room for everyone to see. Larry Smith and his Fiance Beth went back a week later to see the whole White House decorated including the Blue Room tree.
NC Fraser Fir’s have been selected to be in the White House 13 times since 1971. This is more than any other state.
Larry Smith has been growing Christmas trees since high school which expanded into planting just a few seedlings to it becoming a full-time farm. Larry has gotten his three sons involved as well as his brother who owns a Christmas Tree farm as well.
After providing trees for the Vice President, Governor, and State Capital, Smith is so excited to finally fulfill his dreams of being the White House Tree.