Local News

N.C. Christmas Tree begins journey to White House

Posted November 23, 2007 9:04 p.m. EST
Updated November 18, 2008 12:45 p.m. EST

— A North Carolina Fraser fir will soon grace the Blue Room at the White House. The tree was cut down in Ashe County Friday morning.

The 2,000 pound tree is 20 feet tall, and 13 feet wide. At the base, the trunk measures 18 inches across.

“It's one of the first trees I've planted,” Joe Freeman said.

The tree chosen has been growing on Freeman's Mistletoe Meadows Christmas Tree Farm in Laurel Springs for 19 years – when Ronald Reagan was president. Freeman planted the tree when it was 5 years old.

"I've always said I would never have any regrets about cutting trees, because that's what they're planted for, but this one’s is a little more special,” Freeman said.

Freeman said he was growing this tree to put inside the house he is building, but decided in the spirit of giving to let it go to the White House.

Visitors watching the tree-cutting approved of Freeman’s decision and praised his growing abilities.

“It’s a pretty big honor to have a tree for the White House,” Scott Snyder said.

“As far as Christmas trees go, this is the best I’ve seen,” Brian Wrenn said.

Freeman said that moments like these are why he puts so much time and effort into growing Christmas trees.

“It’s just go as hard as you can, get up at 4 o’clock in the morning, work until 10 or 11, drop, get up and do it again,” he said.

“It’s challenging, at times stressful, but there are a lot of rewards, too.”

Freeman and his wife will travel to Washington, D.C. to deliver the tree personally to First Lady Laura Bush. It is expected to arrive sometime Monday.