The first touch of Christmas arrived at the White House this week in the form of a beautiful 19-foot Balsam fir. The tree was delivered to the home of the First Family via horse-drawn wagon. This very special Christmas tree will be on display in the Blue Room and is presented by Jim and Diane Chapman and their son David of Silent Night Evergreens in Endeavor, Wisconsin.
The tree was presented to First Lady Melania Trump by the Chapmans, Grand Champion winners of the 2017 National Christmas Tree Contest, sponsored by the National Christmas Tree Association. The NCTA has presented the Official White House Christmas Tree since 1966. The Grand Champion grower wins the privilege of presenting a tree to the White House.
The Chapman’s are in familiar territory, having been named Grand Champion of the National Christmas Tree Contest on two previous occasions in 1998 and 2003.
“I grew up on a Christmas Tree farm, and my parents also won the honor of putting a tree in the White House,” commented Diane Chapman. “I think that my parents would be very proud that we have also won.”
The spectacular Balsam fir was hand selected by Timothy Harleth, White House Chief Usher, assisted by White House Superintendent of Grounds Dale Haney. This is Harleth’s first Blue Room tree selection, made on a trip to Wisconsin on earlier this fall.
“I am always amazed by the number of people who tell me that they are very proud that the White House Christmas tree is coming from our small town,” added David Chapman.
“The Chapman family exemplifies the commitment of Christmas tree growers across the country,” said Tom Dull, President of the National Christmas Tree Association. “We are proud to grow a product that provides cherished memories for families and is often the centerpiece of the Christmas celebration.”
2017 will mark the 52nd year a member from the National Christmas Tree Association has presented the White House with a Christmas tree.