HIGH COUNTRY — Two High Country farms were selected to provide the White House Christmas Tree this year and in 2024.
On Aug. 10, The National Christmas Tree Association hosted the 2023 National Christmas Tree and Wreath Contest in conjunction with the Minnesota Christmas Tree Association summer meeting Aug. 4, at Wolcyn Tree Farms & Nursery, Cambridge, MN.
The 2023 and 2024 Grand Champion and Reserve Champion growers were selected. These growers will continue the 58-year-old tradition of presenting farm-grown Christmas trees to the White House (Grand Champion growers) and Vice President’s Residence (Reserve Champion growers). The vast amount of publicity generated for farm-grown Christmas trees from this high-profile NCTA program is priceless to the industry. Champion and Reserve Champion Decorated and Undecorated wreaths were also selected at the contest. The contest entries were excellent, giving the judges and NCTA members in attendance a strong offering to pick.
The following winners were selected:
2023 Grand Champion Grower — Alex Church and Amber Scott, Cline Church Nursery, Fleetwood.
They will provide and present a North Carolina Fraser fir Christmas tree that will be displayed in the Blue Room of the White House in 2023. The 2023 Blue Room Christmas Tree selection will take place at a selected farm of the National Christmas Tree Association Grand Champion Christmas Tree growers of Cline Church Nursery, Fleetwood. Selection will take place by White House staff in September or October on a date to be announced. Cline Church Nursery will present the First Lady with a Real Fraser Fir Christmas Tree for display in the White House Blue Room in November 2023.
2024 Grand Champion Grower — David, Jim and Sam Cartner, Cartner Christmas Tree Farm, Newland.
They will provide and present a North Carolina Fraser fir Christmas tree that will be displayed in the Blue Room of the White House in 2024.
About the White House Christmas Tree
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 NCTA hosts a national tree contest at which growers, industry experts and consumers vote to select the Real Christmas Tree grower who will provide the official White House Christmas Tree. To qualify for the national contest, growers must first win their state or regional competitions, so being named National Grand Champion is quite an achievement. 2023 marks the 58th year a member from the National Christmas Tree Association has presented the official White House Christmas Tree.
About Cline Church Nursery
Cline and Ellen Church started at a young age — just teenagers — in 1974, preparing land and planting their dreams on family farmland in Fleetwood, North Carolina in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. By 1977, Cline Church Nursery was formed, and the first trees were harvested in 1981. What began as a small operation is now a 700-acre tree farm with Fraser Fir Christmas trees and Nursery Stock in various stages of growth as well as a garden center open April through mid-December. A second generation is coming up in the company — Cline and Ellen’s children, Amber Scott and Alex Church, both have a passion for the industry and have plans to continue planting and harvesting trees for years to come.
About Cartner Christmas Tree Farm
The Cartner Christmas Tree Farm has been growing high-quality Fraser fir Christmas trees for wholesale and choose and cut customers since being founded in 1959 by Sam and Margaret Cartner. The farm is managed by the Cartner brothers, David, Jim, and Sam Jr. David Cartner is a lawyer and practices in Asheville, NC. On the farm, David is responsible for sales and shipping logistics. Jim Cartner owns and operates a veterinarian clinic in Statesville, NC. Jim visits the farm throughout the year and assists with order loading during harvest. Sam Cartner is a veterinarian and Director of the Animal Resources Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He makes frequent trips to the farm and visits customers throughout the year. Ronnie Beam is the Field Manager. He implements the production aspects of the farm and is directly responsible for selection and tagging as well as equipment maintenance.
About the North Carolina Christmas Tree Association
The mission of the North Carolina Christmas Tree Association (NCCTA) is to promote “real” Christmas Trees through marketing and education. We will contribute to the success of the Christmas Tree Industry by providing ethical, professional, and visionary leadership. The North Carolina Christmas Tree Industry is ranked second in the nation in number of trees harvested and produces over 26% (26.7) of the real Christmas trees grown in the United States. (2017 USDA census of Ag) The North Carolina Fraser fir has been judged the nation’s best through a contest sponsored by the National Christmas Tree Association and chosen for the official White House Christmas tree fourteen times (more than any other species) …1971, 1973, 1982, 1984, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2018 and 2021.