The Fraser Fir ornament from the North Carolina Museum of History commemorates North Carolina's Official Christmas Tree – The Fraser Fir - designated an official state symbol in 2005. Designed by N. C. artist Sidney Baynes, the ornament showcases one of the beautiful Christmas tree farms in the state.

The Fraser Fir ornament from the North Carolina Museum of History commemorates North Carolina’s Official Christmas Tree – The Fraser Fir – designated an official state symbol in 2005. Designed by N. C. artist Sidney Baynes, the ornament showcases one of the beautiful Christmas tree farms in the state.

In 2005 the Fraser fir (Abies fraseri) was adopted as the official state Christmas tree of North Carolina.

The idea came from eighth-graders in Mr. Chris Hollifield’s North Carolina History Class at Spruce Pine’s Harris Middle School who petitioned legislators to bestow the special recognition upon the popular conifer after learning of the economic impact the tree had in the state. The bill was introduced by state Representative Philip D. Frye, also of Spruce Pine.

Known as the Cadillac of Christmas trees, Fraser firs are grown in North Carolina. The tree was named for Scottish botanist John Fraser who explored the Southern Appalachian mountain region during the late 1700s. The evergreen grows in a cone shape and can reach 80 feet.

Fraser firs represent more than 90 percent of Christmas trees grown in North Carolina. North Carolina’s Christmas tree industry is the second largest in the United States, behind Oregon’s, and produces 20 percent of all Christmas trees sold in the nation.

Trees are raised in more than a dozen western counties, with Alleghany, Ashe and Avery, and Mitchell being the top producers.

North Carolina Fraser firs are known throughout the country and North America. They have been displayed in the White House more than any other species of tree.

Article courtesy of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

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