2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree to Be Chopped Down Thursday - NBC 7 San Diego
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2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree to Be Chopped Down Thursday

The first Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was put up in 1931 by workers building the complex during the Great Depression

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    NEWSLETTERS

    This is the Tree Coming to Rockefeller Center

    The tree is coming from the small town of Florida, in Orange County, and will soon be seen by millions who come by Rockefeller Center to see one of the most famous Christmas trees in the world. NBC New York’s John Chandler reports.

    (Published Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019)

    A 14-ton tree is going to make Rockefeller Center its home this holiday season, and you can bet that thousands of revelers will flock to New York City to see it.

    The 88th tree to grace the Plaza for the annual weeks-long display was cut down Thursday at the home of Carol Schultz in New York's Orange County community of Florida. 

    The Norway Spruce stands at 77 feet tall and is 46 feet in diameter but it was only 4 feet tall when the homeowner planted it in 1959. Schultz tells News 4 she initially had the plant inside her home on a coffee table but later planted it outside.

    "I said, 'Oh I don't think it's gonna take.' You know how things happen, but it turned out to be a magnificent tree. It's so beautiful, shaped perfect and I'm happy to share it with everybody," Schultz said.

    The head gardener from Rockefeller Center, Erik Pauze, says he spotted the top of the tree while he was driving nearby and he just had to figure out a way to get to it.

    "As soon as I came around the corner I kind of knew it'd be the tree," Pauze said.

    It's a bittersweet goodbye for Schultz but it was almost destined to be. It didn't take a lot of convincing on Pauze's part when he knocked on Schultz's door since she had submitted the very same tree to be the Rockefeller tree candidate in 2010. 

    The decades-old tree will be hoisted by a crane onto a 115-foot long trailer and transported into Manhattan, where it will be erected on Saturday, Nov. 9.

    After being adorned with more than 50,000 multi-colored lights and crowned with the iconic Swarovski star, the tree will be illuminated for the first time during a live television broadcast on Wednesday, Dec. 4. 

    It'll be on display until Friday, Jan. 14, 2020. Afterwards, the tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity to be made into a home.

    Last year's tree was a 72-foot, 12-ton Norway spruce from Shirley Figueroa and Lissette Gutierrez in Wallkill. 

    The first Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was put up in 1931 by workers building the complex during the Great Depression. The first official tree lighting there was in 1933.