Christmas tree farmers compete to be this year's White House Christmas tree grower

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ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WBAY) - UPDATE: David and Jim Chapman of Silent Night Evergreens in Endeavor, Wis., were named this year's Grand Champion and chosen to provide the White House Christmas tree.

Judges look at the Christmas trees during the National Christmas Tree Association Tree and Wreath Competition

For some Christmas tree farmers it is not too early to start thinking about Christmas.

On Friday, the farmers are competing to be the grower of the White House Christmas Tree. These contestants from all over the country are not new to the competition scene.

They are in Ashwaubenon showing off their best Christmas trees and wreaths, hoping to get enough votes to be crowned "The Grand Champion."

"This is really an important event for our growers, to be named the 'Grand Champion' of your industry that you're growing the most beautiful trees really does have a lot of significance," said Marsha Gray, Director of Communications, National Christmas Tree Association.

The National Christmas Tree Association hosts the competition every two years. A total of 21 tree growers from all over the country are competing to provide the White House with their Christmas tree this holiday season that will be placed in the ‘Blue Room.’

"Since 1966 the National Christmas Tree Association has provided the Blue Room tree, which is sort of the feature tree in the White House. It's the one you see in all the pictures. It's the tree that's brought up on the horse and wagon, and it's really a very special event,” said Gray.

One of the six tree judges, Mel Koelling, has been in the Christmas tree business for 40 years.

"The judges represent different sections of the country, so we try to have a perspective that reflects what each individual representing his section of the country thinks is basically perfection," Koelling said.

Koelling says they're looking for things like uniformity, dents, balance and cleanliness.

"We're really nit picky. We're looking at little minor imperfections. All these trees are basically acceptable to the consumer, perfect in their shape and their configuration, and we're looking at little kind of things that just separate the one from another, and it's pretty, like I said, nit picky," added Koelling.

Once judging is complete and ballots are counted, the "Grand Champion" will be announced during the Friday night banquet at the Radisson Hotel in Ashwaubenon.

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