Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a large Christmas tree placed annually in Rockefeller Center, in Midtown Manhattan. The tree is erected in early to mid November and lit in late November or early December. In recent years, the lighting has been broadcast live, nationwide, on NBC's Christmas in Rockefeller Center show and scheduled for the Wednesday after Thanksgiving with the tree lightning countdown held at the end of the broadcast. The tree, usually a Norway spruce 69 to 100 feet (21 to 30 m) tall, has been put up every year since 1933. The 2015 Christmas Tree Lighting took place on December 2 and remained on display through January 6, 2016.
Selection and decoration
Many Rockefeller trees were donated to Rockefeller Center. The late David Murbach, Manager of the Gardens Division of Rockefeller Center, scouted in a helicopter for the desired tree in areas including Connecticut, New Jersey, upstate New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and even Ottawa, Canada. The trees are now scouted by the Head Gardener at Rockefeller Center, Erik Pauzé. Once a suitable tree is located, a crane supports it while it is cut and moves it to a custom telescoping trailer that can transport trees up to 125 feet (38 m) tall, although the width of New York City streets passing through Rockefeller Center limits the height of the trees to 110 feet (34 m). Local, family-owned business, Christmas Tree Brooklyn provides logistics support for delivering the tree safely into the city.
Once at the Rockefeller Center, the tree is supported by four guy-wires attached at its midpoint and by a steel spike at its base. Scaffolding is erected around the tree to assist workers in hanging 45,000 multi-colored, LED lights.
The star that has topped the tree since 2004 is 9.5 feet (2.9 m) in diameter and weighs 550 pounds (250 kg). This "Swarovski Star" was created by German artist Michael Hammers, who in 2009 additionally designed his own star lighting production.
Although the official Christmas tree tradition at Rockefeller Center began in 1933 (the year 30 Rockefeller Plaza opened), the unofficial tradition began during the Depression-era construction of Rockefeller Center, when workers decorated a smaller 20 feet (6.1 m) balsam fir tree with "strings of cranberries, garlands of paper, and even a few tin cans" on Christmas Eve (December 24, 1931), as recounted by Daniel Okrent in his history of Rockefeller Center. One claim is the tree had some gum wrappers and detonator blasting caps as decorations. There was no Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in 1932.
The decorated Christmas tree remains lit at Rockefeller Center through January 6, which is the Christian feast of The Epiphany. Then it is removed from the premises and recycled for a variety of uses. In 2007, the tree went "green", employing LED lights. After being taken down, the tree was used to furnish lumber for Habitat for Humanity house construction.
The tallest Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center was a 100 feet (30 m) spruce erected on November 11, 1999 that was being cared for by Cathy and Jim Thomson.
Yearly Tree Details
|Year||Original Location||Tree Type||Height||Lighting
|2015||Gardiner, NY||Norway spruce||78 ft||December 2, 2015|
|2014||Danville, PA||Norway spruce||85 ft||December 3, 2014|
|2013||Shelton, CT||Norway spruce||76 ft||December 4, 2013|
|2012||Flanders, NJ||Norway spruce||80 ft||November 28, 2012|
|2011||Mifflinville, PA||Norway spruce||74 ft||November 30, 2011|
|2010||Mahopac, NY||Norway spruce||74 ft||November 30, 2010|
|2009||Easton, CT||Norway spruce||76 ft||December 2, 2009|
|2008||Hamilton, NJ||Norway spruce||72 ft||December 3, 2008|
|2007||Shelton, CT||Norway spruce||84 ft||November 28, 2007|
|2006||Ridgefield, CT||Norway spruce||88 ft||November 29, 2006|
|2005||Wayne, NJ||Norway spruce||74 ft||November 30, 2005|
|2004||Suffern, NY||Norway spruce||71 ft||November 30, 2004|
|2003||Manchester, CT||Norway spruce||79 ft||December 3, 2003|
|2002||Bloomsbury, NJ||Norway spruce||76 ft||December 4, 2002|
|2001||Wayne, NJ||Norway spruce||81 ft||November 28, 2001|
|2000||Buchanan, NY||Norway spruce||80 ft||November 29, 2000|
|1999||Killingworth, CT||Norway spruce||100 ft*||December 1, 1999|
|1998||Richfield, OH||Norway spruce||75 ft||December 2, 1998|
|1997||Stony Point, NY||Norway spruce||70 ft|
|1996||Armonk, NY||Norway spruce||90 ft|
|1995||Mendham, NJ||Norway spruce||75 ft|
|1994||Ridgefield, CT||Norway spruce||85 ft|
|1986||Nanuet, NY||Norway spruce||68 ft|
|1963||Rockaway, NJ||Bruce Fir, Veit||84 ft|
|1957||Brighton, VT||white spruce||67 ft|
- *Tallest Tree on Record
- Lambert, Bruce (December 5, 2008). "A Christmas Tree That Manhattan's Can Look Up To". The New York Times. Retrieved December 14, 2008.
- "Tree Facts" (PDF). The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center. 2007.
- "Christmas Tree Lighting". rockefellercenter.com. 2015.
- "Rockefeller Center Christmas tree hunter David Murbach dies just before Christmas". The New York Daily News. January 6, 2010.
- "Rockefeller Center's tree". about.com. Retrieved 2007-12-01.
- In New York, a Big Tree Takes Its Place. Youtube.
- AP (26 December 2013). "Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lights Up". Gazers. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- Berger, Paul (2005-12-04). "A Star Is Reborn". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-29.
- Barron, James (2009-11-18). "A Star Makeover". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-12-11.
- Okrent, Daniel Okrent (2003). Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center. New York: Viking Press. p. 188. ISBN 0-670-03169-0.
- "The tree at Rockefeller Center". Rockefeller Center. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-01.
- "LEDs will light up Rockefeller Christmas tree". CNN. 2007. Archived from the original on November 23, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-01.
- "Yule Never Guess The Tree Height". thetreenyc.org.
- "Rockefeller Center Tree to Arrive in New York City This Week". Retrieved 2015-11-03.
- "Danville Christmas Tree Rockefeller Center". PennLive. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
- "Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree". Courant. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
- "Rockefeller Center Christmas tree hails from N.J. this holiday season". Star-Ledger. 2012-11-12.
- "Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree donated by family of Ground Zero FDNY veteran". New York Daily News. 2010-11-11. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
- "Christmas tree going up in NY's Rockefeller Center". Associated Press. 2009-11-12. Archived from the original on November 18, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-12.
- "Hamilton tree headed for Rockefeller Center called 'miracle'". NJ.com. 2008-11-13. Retrieved 2009-11-12.
- "2007 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree From Shelton, Connecticut". About.com. 2007-11-09. Retrieved 2009-11-12.
- "Connecticut Tree Spruces Up Rockefeller Plaza". Fox News. 2006-11-10. Retrieved 2009-11-12.
- "Katrina, Rita Kids Light Rockefeller Tree". Fox News. 2005-12-01. Retrieved 2009-11-12.
- "NYC — Rockefeller Christmas and Tree — New York City". Retrieved 2009-11-12.
- "76-foot spruce arrives in Rockefeller Center for holidays". The Boston Globe.
- "Rockefeller Center Christmas tree installed". CNN. 2010-11-12.
- "Rockefeller Tree Lighting is Close".
- "The 1998 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree". Retrieved 2013-12-01.
- "The Torsilieris Deliver the Rockefeller Tree, Once Again". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- Fernandez, Manny. "It's No Simple Matter Before a Tree Joins Rockefeller Center History". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-12.
- Hunt, Pat (December 2008). "Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree". Vermont's Northland Journal. 7 (9): 6.
- The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center. ISBN 0-9650308-7-3.
- "Christmas Tech". Modern Marvels. 2006-12-20. The History Channel.
- Moseman, Andrew (November 14, 2008). "How Riggers Raise the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree: Live on Scene". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved December 21, 2008.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.|
- 2006 Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Image Gallery
- NYC Insider Guide to Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting
- Christmas in Rockefeller Center, NBC.com
- Special tree-decorating game, NBC.com
- Christmas at Rockefeller Center, NBC.com
- Happy Holidays from NBC ('08-'09)
- Happy Holidays from NBC ('09-'10)
- Holidays on NBC (2011)
- Tree Lighting Times at Rockefeller Center, NYSGO.com
- The Swarovski Star
- A Rockefeller Christmas, The Rockefeller Archive Center