Rockefeller’s 75ft tall, 11-ton Norway Spruce Christmas tree is cut down in upstate New York ready for it to be shipped to NYC and decorated with 50,000 LED lights
- A 75-foot tall, 11-ton Norway Spruce from Oneonta, New York was cut down on Thursday morning
- It will make 170-mile journey from upstate New York to Midtown Manhattan, where it will arrive on Saturday
- The tree will be outfitted with 50,000 multi-colored LED lights attached to some 5 miles of wire
- It will be adorned with 900-pound star made up of some 3 million Swarovski crystals on 70 illuminated spikes
- This is second time in recent years that a tree from Oneonta has been chosen as the Rockefeller tree
- COVID-19 pandemic forced organizers to ban public viewing of the tree being cut down on Thursday
- A scaled-back version of annual Rockefeller Center tree-lighting ceremony is scheduled for December 2
- There will be no public access to this year’s ceremony, but it will be televised nationally on the NBC network
A tree from upstate New York is ready to make its big city debut this Christmas.
A 75ft tall, 11-ton Norway Spruce was cut down on Thursday from a home in Oneonta, New York, in preparation for its 170-mile journey to Manhattan where it will be displayed at Rockefeller Center during the holiday season.
The tree, which was donated by Daddy Al’s General Store, will be placed on a 115ft-long flatbed truck before it is delivered to its destination on Saturday, according to WNBC-TV.
It is estimated to be between 75 and 80 years old.
After the tree’s arrival in Midtown Manhattan on Saturday, it will receive its usual glow-up, which will consist of some 50,000 multi-colored LED lights attached to approximately 5 miles of wire.
Workers in Oneonta, New York, on Thursday prepare to cut down a 75ft-tall, 11-ton Norway Spruce that was chosen to be the tree that will be displayed at Rockefeller Center this holiday season
The tree is estimated to be between the ages of 75 and 80 years old, according to the family that owned it
It will be adorned with some 50,000 multi-colored LED lights attached to 5 miles of wire
To top it all off – literally – a glitzy star made of Swarovski crystals will be placed at the tree’s apex.
A crane will hoist the 900-pound Swarovski crystal star atop the tree for the second straight year.
The star measures 9-foot 4-inches in diameter and has 3 million Swarovski crystals on 70 illuminated spikes.
Daniel Libeskind, the architect behind 1 World Trade Center, designed the star that millions will see sparkling on top of the tree.
The tree was placed on a flatbed truck and is due to arrive in Midtown Manhattan this coming Saturday
Al Dick (left) of Daddy Al’s General Store in Oneonta donated the tree to Rockefeller Center
Farewell, old friend: Al Dick’s grandchildren hug their tree for the last time before it is cut down and sent to New York City
Dick’s family pose for a photograph in front of the tree in Oneonta, New York, on Thursday
The tree, which is two feet smaller and one ton lighter than last year’s version, was selected by Erik Pauze, the chief gardener at Rockefeller Center.
He said he last paid a visit to Oneonta in 2016. Since then, he knew that was the tree he wanted.
‘I’m looking for a tree that’s gonna look great in Rockefeller Center,’ Pauze told WNBC-TV.
‘One that’s gonna stand up, have a nice Christmas tree shape like the one you want in your living room and look good.’
The tree’s annual lighting ceremony will take place on December 2. There will be no public access to the ceremony, though it will be televised nationally on NBC beginning at 7pm Eastern time.
It will likely remain on display in Rockefeller Center until early next year, at which point the tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity, which will recycle it for use as lumber.
Unlike in previous years, in order to ensure social distancing, the was no public access for visitors to attend or get an up close look at the tree being cut.
This is the second time in recent years that a tree from the town of Oneonta has been chosen as the Rockefeller tree, with the last coming in 2016, which was grown by locals Angie and Graig Eichler.
Earlier this week, Mayor Bill de Blasio held out hope that a limited number of in-person viewers would be allowed to attend the tree-lighting ceremony.
Workers are seen preparing to cut down the tree in the upstate New York town of Oneonta on Thursday
The tree is seen above on Thursday being loaded onto a flatbed trailer before it is shipped to New York City
Traditionally, the cutting down of the tree is an event viewed by the public, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizers to do a scaled-down version
This is the second time in the last four years that a tree from Oneonta has been picked to be displayed at Rockefeller Center
The tree will be adorned with Christmas lights as well as a large star made of Swarovski crystals
An observer takes a photo of the tree before it is cut down by workers in Oneonta, New York, on Thursday morning
While he was quick to express his ‘childlike’ wonder over the lighting of the spruce, the mayor didn’t offer any concrete answers, simply suggesting that indoor events should be avoided.
‘We want that to be a great experience, especially in the middle of everything people are dealing with,’ de Blasio said on Tuesday.
‘This is something really special each year for this city, and I don’t know about you, but I still have a kind of childlike wonder when the lights go on in that tree each year.
‘I think people understand that we have to be really careful with the danger of a second wave, but we’re going to take extra precautions to make sure that if people are trying to go by to see it, that we can keep it to the right number of folks at any given time.’
The mayor assured: ‘We’ll get an update on how it will be handled, but we will take proper precautions.’
The tradition of lighting a Christmas street outside the Rockefeller Center officially began in 1933.
Workers prepare a massive crane that will be used to lower the tree once it is cut down in Oneonta, New York, on Thursday
The tree, which is two feet smaller and one ton lighter than last year’s version, was selected by Erik Pauze, the chief gardener at Rockefeller Center
It will likely remain on display in Rockefeller Center until early next year, at which point the tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity, which will recycle it for use as lumber
Unlike in previous years, in order to ensure social distancing, the was no public access for visitors to attend or get an up close look at the tree being cut down
This is the second time in recent years that a tree from the town of Oneonta has been chosen as the Rockefeller tree, with the last coming in 2016, which was grown by locals Angie and Graig Eichler
Observers keep their distance and take photographs as the tree is cut down in Oneonta, New York, on Thursday morning
It’s estimated that more than 125 million people typically visit Rockefeller Center during the holidays, but with tourism stalled amid the pandemic, it’s unlikely the usual frenzy will appear this year.
Iva Benson, an outside spokeswoman for Rockefeller Center’s landlord, Tishman Speyer, confirmed to DailyMail.com that the tree-lighting ceremony will be closed to the public.
DailyMail.com has reached out to the mayor’s office for comment.
While this year’s tree measures at a towering 75-foot, the tallest ever spruce to stand in the center was seen in 1999, which was 100 foot tall. The tree that year came from Killingworth, Connecticut.
The COVID-19 pandemic is also disrupting other New York City holiday traditions.
The famous Rockefeller Center ice skating rink will open on November 21, but it will limit the number of people on the ice.
The rink will also close far earlier this season compared to previous years. The last day skaters can pay a visit to the rink is January 17.
The annual Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall, which features the Rockettes, has been canceled.
There will also be no in-person crowds watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, though preparations are underway to stage a modified version that will be broadcast on television.
Last month, Bryant Park opened its Winter Village, though unlike previous years it institute safety protocols to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.