NEWLAND, N.C. (AP) — The farmer who raised the Christmas tree destined for the White House this year says the Fraser fir "got the last laugh" after he "basically abandoned it."

Astrid Riecken/Getty Images
Astrid Riecken/Getty Images

Larry Smith told The Charlotte Observer on Tuesday that the 19 ½-foot-tall (6-meter-tall) tree didn't seem to be doing as well as others so he hadn't trimmed it in a couple years. But two White House officials "just loved the natural look to it."
Smith's Mountain Top Fraser Fir farm was selected to provide this year's official tree after he won the National Christmas Tree Association's contest in Wisconsin. Smith's win bolsters North Carolina's tally as the state with the most White House Christmas trees, at 12.
The tree will be cut Wednesday and driven up to Washington, where Smith will present it Monday.

More From KMMS-KPRK 1450 AM