A chain saw whines and fat white flakes fly as workers at a Pennsylvania tree farm fell a large Concolor fir — a stately specimen picked to be the official White House Christmas tree.

The bluish-green fir will grace the Blue Room of the White House. It comes from Evergreen Acres Christmas Tree farm in Auburn, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) outside of Philadelphia.

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The family-run farm won the state’s Christmas tree competition and then was named the grand champion at the National Christmas Tree Association’s annual contest.

That gave Evergreen the right to supply an official tree to the White House.

White House officials visited Evergreen last month to select the tree. They settled on the Concolor that third-generation owner Paul Shealer says was planted as a seedling about 20 years ago.

He says there was something special about the tree, and workers gave it extra attention to help it get to the perfect Christmas tree shape.

Shealer’s father and grandfather started Evergreen in the 1940s, and the farm has been growing Christmas trees ever since.

Shealer, who recently passed the baton to his son and daughter-in-law, says the farm has about 60,000 trees in production in any given year, from seedlings to the giant that’s heading to the White House.

Shealer says his main concern was to get the one-ton (907 kilogram) tree cut down and loaded without doing any damage to it, especially to it main stem.

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It was mission accomplished as Shealer, his son and other workers painstakingly hoisted the tree onto a trailer.

It’s the second time that Evergreen has supplied the White House tree. Evergreen presented a holiday tree to the Clinton White House in 2000.


AP Video shot by: Michael Rubinkam