Smoky Mountain Fraser Fir Trees, America’s Favorite Christmas Tree

Smoky Mountain Fraser fir trees are Americas Favorite Christmas Tree!

Smoky Mountain Fraser fir trees are Americas Favorite Christmas Tree!

Smoky Mountain Fraser Fir Trees, America’s Favorite Christmas Tree.  The Fraser fir, which can reach some 55-feet tall in the wild, is the only fir tree native to the Great Smokies, and is found only in Southern Appalachia at elevations above 3,900 feet.

This iconic pyramid-shaped seasonal symbol of the Great Smoky Mountains, noted for its long fragrant needles, can take more than 12 years to reach a height of six feet. The Fraser fir is hands-down the most popular Christmas tree in North America and has been selected 13 times to grace the white house grounds as the Nation’s Christmas tree.

Not only a beautiful evergreen, the Fraser fir also provides a vital habitat for some of the mountains’ rare plants and animals- including the Northern Flying Squirrel, Weller’s Salamander and the Spruce Fir-Moss Spider.

Named for Scottish botanist John Fraser in the 1800’s, the fir is one of the nation’s most endangered trees. Insect blight from the Balsam Wooly Adelgid as well as ongoing problems brought on by climate change are a constant threat to firs in the wild as well as those grown on commercial farms. Fraser firs are an economic staple in the mountains and more than 50 million of these evergreens occupy some 39,000 acres on tree farms in Western North Carolina.

The lovely Fraser fir is America's favorite Christmas tree.

The lovely Fraser fir is America’s favorite Christmas tree.

Searching for the perfect Christmas tree is a personal and (more often than not) family tradition. Loading up the kids and heading to the nearest cut-your-own tree farm makes for some special holiday memories. Walking down row after row of a green forest in frosty winter weather before selecting and cutting the absolute perfect tree is a fun way for adults and kids to kick off the holiday season. Most farms feature a rustic stand at the edge of the fir forest where families can enjoy mugs of steaming hot chocolate before visiting with the velvet and fur-clad resident Santa and more than a few elves.

Tree safety tips

Before heading out to buy a tree, think about the room where the tree will be located. Leave at least 6-inches between the tip of the tree and the ceiling. Don’t forget to factor in the height of the tree stand as well.

Plan to place trees away from heat sources and direct sunlight if possible.

Either cut your own tree or buy a freshly cut tree from a reputable tree farm. Many pre-cut trees were likely cut weeks before arriving for sale.

Cut off at least two inches at the bottom of the trunk. This helps the tree absorb water. REMEMBER trees can take in as much of a gallon of water a day, so WATER DAILY! (One Connecticut tree farm recommends boiling a gallon of water and dissolving one cup of sugar into the water; let cool then add the mixture to your tree stand at first and then follow with fresh plain water daily.)

Frequently falling needles indicate that the tree is becoming a fire hazard.

We love to see your photos of Fraser firs. Got a hiking pic of one? Or maybe one decorated for the holidays? Send it to us via our social media and spread the holiday cheer!

More Hey Smokies Features:

Smoky Mountain Pink Moon
Smoky Mountain Pink Moon...
Smoky Mountain Pink Moon. The Pink Moon or "Fools Moon" will not be turning pink despite the name. April’s full Moon arrives on Tuesday, April 7[Read More >>]
Dolly Parton Reads Imagination Library Stories
Dolly Parton Reads Imagination Library Stories...
Dolly Parton Reads Imagination Library Stories. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free books to childre[Read More >>]
Dollywood Cades Cove Expansion Breaks Ground
Dollywood Cades Cove Expansion Breaks Ground...
Dollywood Cades Cove Expansion Breaks Ground. Smoky Mountain officials announced today the expansion of the popular theme park has begun. The pr[Read More >>]
Native American Fry Bread Recipe
Native American Fry Bread Recipe...
Native American Fry Bread Recipe. This bread has been sustaining Americans for centuries. The simple recipe has been handed down through the ge[Read More >>]
Corona Virus Closes Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Corona Virus Closes Great Smoky Mountains National Park...
Corona Virus Closes Great Smoky Mountains National Park. GSMNP closes to support COVID - 19 prevention efforts. Park officials have closed all a[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Initiates Corona Virus Health Guidelines
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Initiates Corona Virus Health Guidelines...
Great Smoky Mountains Initiates Corona Virus Health Guidelines. Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020 all national park campgrounds, picnic areas, p[Read More >>]
Appalachian Trail Thru Hikers Asked To Postpone Thru-Hikes
Appalachian Trail Thru Hikers Asked To Postpone Thru-Hikes...
Appalachian Trail Thru Hikers Asked To Postpone Thru-Hikes. Late winter and early spring is the time for a mass human migration known as Appalac[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountain National Park Visitor Centers Close
Great Smoky Mountain National Park Visitor Centers Close...
Great Smoky Mountain National Park Visitor Centers Close March 17, 2020. The closures are in response to efforts to inhibit the spread of the CO[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Region Coronavirus Closings
Smoky Mountain Region Coronavirus Closings...
Smoky Mountain Region Coronavirus Closings as of March 16, 2020. As the nation and the world brace for the effects of the COVID-19 virus the Smo[Read More >>]
Park Recruits Trail Volunteers
Park Recruits Trail Volunteers...
Park Recruits Trail Volunteers. Great Smoky Mountains National Park encompasses over 500,000 square miles and boasts 848 miles of maintained [Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains Considers Cades Cove Car Ban Changes
Great Smoky Mountains Considers Cades Cove Car Ban Changes...
Great Smoky Mountains Considers Cades Cove Car Ban Changes. The scenic valley of Cades Cove is traditionally closed to motor vehicles until 10 a[Read More >>]
Clingmans Dome Volunteers Needed
Clingmans Dome Volunteers Needed...
Clingmans Dome Volunteers Needed. Clingmans Dome is the highest peak in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The observation tower, at 6,644' fe[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Mingus Mill Volunteers Needed
Smoky Mountain Mingus Mill Volunteers Needed...
Smoky Mountain Mingus Mill Volunteers Needed. Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials are asking for volunteers to provide interpret[Read More >>]
Cades Cove Car Ban Ends
Cades Cove Car Ban Ends...
Cades Cove Car Ban Ends. Cades Cove has been closed for visitors for two months but that ends when the Laurel Creek Road (a seven-mile main acce[Read More >>]
Keep Sevier Beautiful Gardening Workshops
Keep Sevier Beautiful Gardening Workshops...
Keep Sevier Beautiful Gardening Workshops are scheduled for each Thursday in March, 2020. The workshops are free to everyone and begin each week[Read More >>]
Volunteers needed for Great Smoky Mountain ‘Adopt-a-Plot’ Program
Volunteers needed for Great Smoky Mountain ‘Adopt-a-Plot’ Program...
Volunteers needed for Great Smoky Mountain ‘Adopt-a-Plot’ Program. National park rangers are seeking volunteers to monitor designated plots thro[Read More >>]
Appalachian Bear Rescue's Mardi Bear Event
Appalachian Bear Rescue's Mardi Bear Event...
Appalachian Bear Rescue's Mardi Bear Event will be a fun way to celebrate Mardi Gras in the Smokies! This Smoky Mountain event is scheduled f[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Life Insurance
Smoky Mountain Life Insurance...
Smoky Mountain Life Insurance. A Smart Planning Tool for Your Life Life insurance can feel complicated and overwhelming, but at its core, it's[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Hosts 12.5 Million Visitors
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Hosts 12.5 Million Visitors...
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Hosts 12.5 Million Visitors. Great Smoky Mountains National Park broke it's all time annual attendance re[Read More >>]
Take a Scenic Drive on Moonshiner 28 near the Great Smoky Mountains!
Take a Scenic Drive on Moonshiner 28 near the Great Smoky Mountains!...
Take a Scenic Drive on Moonshiner 28 near the Great Smoky Mountains! Perhaps no image is more stereotypical of the rural South than that of the [Read More >>]