By By BRUCE SMITH
Although the spirit of the season is the same, it's a tale of 2 Carolinas when it comes to growing Christmas trees.
North Carolina is the nation's second-largest tree producer behind Oregon and harvests more than 5 million each year. Most are Fraser firs grown in the high Appalachians. This year, 1 of those Fraser firs from Ashe County is gracing the Blue Room as the White House Christmas tree.
While North Carolina has about 1,600 growers, in South Carolina, Christmas trees are a cottage industry with about 45 growers harvesting only about 30,000 trees. Most are mom & pop operations.
South Carolina growers say they do it for a second income and for the joy of growing the trees and sharing the season with others.