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Rockefeller Center Christmas tree erected in New York City

The gargantuan evergreen is about about 82 feet tall, 50 feet wide, weighs 14 tons and is believed to be about 90 years old,

November 14, 2022 2:15pm

Updated: November 14, 2022 5:34pm

Although Thanksgiving still stands between us and Christmas, New York City’s Rockefeller Center welcomed the holidays this weekend by putting up its world-famous Christmas tree.

A small crowd gathered early Saturday morning as the 82-foot Norway spruce rolled into Rockefeller Center after traveling over 200 miles from northern Queensbury, reported the New York Post.

Donated by the Lebowitz family of Glen Falls, the gargantuan evergreen is about 50 feet wide, weights 14 tons and is believed to be about 90 years old, a Rockefeller Center publicist told local media.

The crowd swelled in size through the morning, with the holiday monument finally installed around 11 a.m. The Post reports that spectators were given Norway spruce seeds so they could plant their own.

“It was really cool! I was excited. I was clapping when they put it up and it was standing straight,” said 12-year-old Olivia Johnson. “It is really pretty. I can’t wait to see what it will look like when the lights go on.”

The tree will now be decorated with 50,000 lights and a Swarovski crystal star. The lighting ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 30.

Erik Pauze, head gardener for the center, said he began traveling to care for the tree beginning in March.

“Over the summer when it was really hot and dry, I was up there watering the tree. I was giving it probably 800 to 1,000 gallons [of water] every week to make sure it looks good,” Pauze told The Post, adding that it is now sitting in a base that holds about 90 gallons of water.

“On a warm day like this, it will drink it up.  After about a week, it doesn’t really drink water anymore,” he said.

Last year, a homeless man set fire to a 50-foot tree in front of the Midtown building that houses Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.

He was released because he was “not charged with a bail-eligible offense.” Under New York law at the time, arson is only a felony if there is intent to harm a person or commit a hate crime.