Farmer had abandoned tree picked for White House

NEWLAND, N.C. (AP) — The farmer who raised the Christmas tree destined for the White House this year says the Fraser fir “got the last laugh” after he “basically abandoned it.”

Larry Smith told The Charlotte Observer this week that the 19 1/2-foot-tall tree didn’t seem to be doing as well as others so he hadn’t trimmed it in a couple years. But two White House officials “just loved the natural look to it.”

Smith’s Mountain Top Fraser Fir farm was selected to provide this year’s official tree after he won the National Christmas Tree Association’s contest in Wisconsin. Smith’s win bolsters North Carolina’s tally as the state with the most White House Christmas trees, at 12.

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