The Big Apple ushered in the holiday season Saturday, as a 79-foot Norway spruce arrived safely at Rockefeller Center from Maryland to take its proper place as one of the world’s most famous Christmas trees.
The 12-ton spruce was trucked in a 115-foot-long trailer from Elkton, Maryland – the first time the annual tree has come from that state since Rockefeller Center started famously displaying Christmas trees eight decades ago. Workers later lifted and hoisted the tree into place to the delight of many New Yorkers, tourists and other passersby.
The tree will be decorated with more than 50,000 multicolored lights and topped with a 900-pound star with 70 spikes covered in 3 million crystals.
The lighting ceremony is Dec. 1.
Devon and Julie Price, whose property the tree was removed from, told NBC’s “Today” they were concerned it would fall down during a storm.
“So we’re very excited to have it go to New York City,” Devon Price said.
On Saturday, many passersby at Rockefeller Center stopped to marvel at the spruce from behind barricades and take photos.
Emilia Nowak, 36, of Cliffside Park, NJ, said she came to Manhattan just to see the tree. She was spotted walking around with a branch of it that she said a security guard gave her.
“I think Christmas is very special,” she said. “The tree is beautiful. It’s perfect in my opinion. I can’t wait for December 1st to see it lit.”
Sibyl McCormac Groff, a tour guide at Rockefeller Center the past 20 years, said she noticed a big difference between last year, when the tree went up in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this year.
“Last year when the tree went up, I was the only person here, but now we’re seeing people out,” said Groff, who lives on the Upper East Side.
“When I got here initially and saw it, I thought, ‘Ugh it’s not very nice.’ But then as I look at it, it’s opening up. It’s beautiful. It’s a beautiful tree.”
Erik Pauze, Rockefeller Center’s chief gardener, stumbled upon the spruce in March after going to a nursery to buy plants in southern New Jersey and deciding to take a drive in Maryland, he told The Baltimore Sun.
With Post wire services