Christmas Tree

Fraser Fir

by Steven Case, 2007.
NC Government & Heritage Library.

Fraser fir trees

The General Assembly of 2005 adopted the Fraser Fir as the official Christmas Tree for the State of North Carolina (Session Laws, 2005, c. 387).

This law is the result of the hard work of Eighth Grade students at Harris Middle School in Spruce Pine, who researched the economic impact of the Fraser Fir industry on the state, and suggested this species as a new state symbol.

The Fraser fir (Abies fraseri) derives its name from John Fraser, a Scottish botanist who explored the Appalachian Mountains in the 1700's, and was a collaborator and competitor with Andre Michaux (see Carolina Lily). Fraser firs, which are native to the Appalachian Mountains, can reach a height of 80 feet and may have trunks as large as 18 inches in diameter.

The Fraser Fir can take as long as 12 years to grow to retail Christmas Tree height (6-7 feet), and will be visited by the grower more than 100 times during its life. The Fraser Fir has been chosen a number of times as the White House Christmas Tree, and constitutes a large percentage of Christmas tree production in North Carolina.

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References and additional resources:

"Fraser fir quick facts."  2010. N.C. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Accessed 2/2011. Online at http://www.ncagr.gov/markets/commodit/horticul/xmastree/fraser.htm

"Fraser fir." Plant Information Center. Accessed 2/2011. Online at http://www.ibiblio.org/pic/NCTrees/fraserfir.htm

Image credit:

"Christmas tree production - 1." 2004. Photo by Flickr user Soil Science. Online at http://www.flickr.com/photos/soilscience/5086374661/

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