It may be July, but it's still the most wonderful time of the year for the nation's top Christmas tree growers.

They've brought their finest specimens to Michigan this week, as they vie for the honor of providing this year's official White House Christmas tree.  Rick Dungey heads up the National Christmas Tree Association, and says this is a rigorous contest, with five pages of specifications and three separate rounds of judging by a panel of growers, industry experts and consumers at Peterson's Riverview Nursery in Allegan today and Saturday.

A White House representative will go to the winning tree farm later in the season to select the official tree that will be placed in the Blue Room.

Michigan is the nation's third largest producer of Christmas trees, with more than 38-thousand acres of Christmas tree farms. Michigan growers have been selected to provide the official White House tree on several occasions, most recently in 1985.