1000 x 90

Photos & Video: Jefferson Christmas from Peak Farms Tree Arrives at White House with National Attention

By Paul T. Choate

Father and son Rusty (left) and Beau Estes, owners of Peak Farms in Jefferson, stand with Ashe County Agricultural Agent Travis Birdsell (right) and their National Christmas Tree Association champion tree that now resides in the White House.

Nov. 26, 2012. If you have been doing any driving around in the High Country recently you have probably noticed a Christmas tree on top of just about every other car you see. In this area, there are plenty of trees to choose from, and Rusty and Beau Estes, father and son owners of Peak Farms in Jefferson, grew one of the best of all.

A Peak Farms 19-foot tall Fraser fir recently won at the national competition held annually by the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA). The contest’s winner has supplied the White House with its tree every year since it began in 1966. The Estes family made their way to the nation’s capital yesterday, Thanksgiving, to personally deliver their winning tree to first lady Michelle Obama at the White House. The tree will be on display in the White House’s Blue Room. 

The presentation of the Peak Farms tree to Mrs. Obama received national media attention on Friday, being mentioned on CNN Newsroom and other national outlets. 

With choose and cut getting into full swing, there should be a lot of trees to go around. Watauga County, known as the “Choose and Cut Capital,” Avery County, the “Christmas Tree Capital of the World” and Ashe County — winner of more NCTA championships than any other U.S. county — are three counties that produce some of the best Christmas trees in the nation. 

For those thinking about getting their tree soon, there are some great online resources to help you find the best place to go. To view 28 Christmas tree farms located within Watauga County, check out wataugachristmastrees.org. Also, the Avery County Chamber of Commerce has a detailed listing of Christmas tree farms locally at averycounty.com/seasons/christmas.

Video by AP


Additional images

The official White House Christmas tree, a 19-foot Fraser Fir, arrives in a horse-drawn carriage at the North Portico of the White House, Nov. 23, 2012. Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy


First Lady Michelle Obama, with daughters Sasha and Malia, and the family dog Bo, receives the official White House Christmas tree at the North Portico of the White House, Nov. 23, 2012. The tree, a 19-foot Fraser Fir from Jefferson, N.C., arrived in a horse-drawn carriage. Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy