The National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA) reports that the official White House Christmas Tree will be a beautiful Douglas-fir from Lehighton, Pennsylvania.
The offiicial Blue Room tree will be presented to First Lady Michelle Obama by Christmas Tree farmer Christopher Botek and his family. Botek earned this honor as the winner of the NCTA’s national Christmas Tree contest held in August 2010 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and by becoming the Grand Champion.
The Blue Room Christmas tree was hand-picked by White House Staff on September 28, 2010. The tree was planted by Botek on his Crystal Spring tree Farm 20 years ago and will be cut and sent to Washington D.C. where an official presentation ceremony will take place.
This is not the first time the Botek name has been associated with Christmas at the White House, his parents Margaret and Francis Botek were Grand Champions in 2006. They travelled to Washington where they presented the White House Christmas Tree to First Lady Laura Bush. Having followed in the footsteps of his parents, Botek calls winning the contest this year a source of family pride and an honor for the family as tree farmers.
National Christmas Tree Association members have presented the official White House Blue Room Christmas tree since 1996. White House staff traditionally travel to the farm where the official Blue Room tree will be selected in the early fall. Once the tree is chosen a red velvet bow as seen in this photo is pinned to the tree to note the honor. This year White House Director of the Executive Residence and Chief Usher; Rear Admiral Stephen Rochon, grounds superintendent; Dale Haney, White House chief floral designer; Laura Dowling and supervisor of horticulture for the National Parks Service; Jim Adams all travelled to the Botek farm to make the official selection.
The Douglas-fir will arrive at the White House on the traditional horse-drawn carriage to the North Portico where it is received by the First Lady. The tree will be on display in the Blue Room throughout the holiday season.