FLEETWOOD, N.C. — The nation's Christmas tree has been cut and will soon take its place in the Blue Room of the White House.
The 19-foot holiday staple was grown on a farm in Ashe County.
What You Need To Know
The 2023 White House Christmas Tree is a Fraser fir standing 19 feet tall
The tree came from Cline Church Nursey in Ashe County
It will be presented to the first lady on Monday, Nov. 20
It was a moment Alex Church will always remember, when the Christmas tree he planted while in high school was lifted up and made its first move toward becoming the official 2023 White House Christmas Tree.
"I got to cut it. It was great," Church said. "It looks bigger than it did over there standing up."
Church and his sister, Amber Scott, have been growing and selling trees at Cline Church Nursery for years, but it all started with their parents decades ago.
"Started in 1975 when they got married," Church said.
A month ago, Church says White House staff were on the property choosing the perfect tree, looking for the best shape and size to be on display. The whole experience, he says, has been exciting.
"Me and my sister just looked at each other in disbelief," he said. "We couldn't believe this was happening."
That's why before it was cut, Church said his family got together and prayed for its journey.
"We visited this tree probably about 200 times give or take. These bigger trees were actually growing up to make a seed orchard," Church said.
The tree will be presented to First Lady Jill Biden on Monday, Nov. 20.
In 1961, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy started the tradition of selecting a decorative theme for the Blue Room Christmas tree, according the White House Historical Association. Since then, North Carolina has provided 14 of the trees featured, which is the most of any state.
The theme of this year's Blue Room decorations has not yet been released.
For more information on the history of the White House Christmas Tree, click here.