White House Christmas Tree comes from Oconto

September 21, 2016

By Michelle Clemens


OCONTO, Wis. (WBAY) – The fall season is a couple of days away, but those in Washington are already thinking about Christmas.

After winning a national contest, a tree from Whispering Pines Tree Farm in Oconto is heading to the White House.

“It’s a great honor. It’s like winning the Super Bowl,” said Dave Vander Velden, owner of Whispering Pines Tree Farm. “It’s a gold medal at the Olympics for tree farmers. It doesn’t get any better.”>[Duration:0:06]

Three representatives from the White House make their way to Whispering Pines Tuesday to choose from one of three trees.

They carefully examined each one. The tree will be displayed in the Blue Room.

Ultimately, the trio chose a 20 by 12 foot Balsam Fir.

“It’s beautiful,” said Angella Reid, chief White House usher.

The tree will be cut down by Vander Velden in November.

“The day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, we’ll deliver it. We’ll present it to Mrs. Obama right at the White House steps,” Vander Velden said.

“They decorate the White House to the hills and there are trees all over,” said Ann O’Connor of the National Christmas Tree Association.

“It’s a great honor to have this and it doesn’t get any better,” said Vander Velden.

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