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State Christmas Tree of North Carolina: Fraser Fir

by Steven Case, 2007.
NC Government & Heritage Library.

See also: North Carolina State Symbols and Official Adoptions main page

Fraser fir tree farm

The General Assembly of 2005 adopted the Fraser Fir as the official Christmas Tree for the State of North Carolina (Session Laws, 2005, c. 387).

Selection as State Christmas Tree

This law is the result of the hard work of Eighth Grade students at Harris Middle School in Spruce Pine, who researched the economic impact of the Fraser Fir industry on the state, and suggested this species as a new state symbol.

High Country Christmas Tree farmer Larry Smith, Grand Champion of the National Christmas Tree Association’s contest to provide the 2018 Christmas tree to the White House poses with NC Christmas Tree Assoc. Ex. Dir. Jennifer Greene.About the Fraser Fir

The Fraser fir (Abies fraseri) derives its name from John Fraser, a Scottish botanist who explored the Appalachian Mountains in the 1700's, and was a collaborator and competitor with Andre Michaux (see Carolina Lily). Fraser firs, which are native to the Appalachian Mountains, can reach a height of 80 feet and may have trunks as large as 18 inches in diameter.

The Fraser Fir can take as long as 12 years to grow to retail Christmas Tree height (6-7 feet), and will be visited by the grower more than 100 times during its life. The Fraser Fir has been chosen a number of times as the White House Christmas Tree, and constitutes a large percentage of Christmas tree production in North Carolina.

Update from N.C. Government & Heritage Library staff

As of 2018, North Carolina grown Fraser fir Christmas trees have been chosen to grace the Blue Room of the White House thirteen times, most recently in 2018. Read more about this event at To read about other fir trees and families that have represented North Carolina at Christmas in the White House, visit

References and additional resources:

"Fraser fir quick facts."  2010. N.C. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Accessed 2/2011. Online at

"Fraser fir." Plant Information Center. Accessed 2/2011. Online at

Image credit:

"Christmas tree production - 1." 2004. Photo by Flickr user Soil Science. Online at

Gardner, Tim. 2018. "Larry Smith poses with Jennifer Greene, Executive Director of the North Carolina Christmas Tree Association, based in Boone." (accessed on July 18, 2019). 

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