It's Here! Rockefeller Tree Arrives in NYC

An 85-year-old Norway spruce from Pennsylvania arrived in Manhattan on Saturday. The tree will be decked out in 45,000 lights at a tree-lighting ceremony later this month. Adam Kuperstein reports.

(Published Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017)

What to Know

  • The 75-foot tall, 12-plus ton Norway spruce comes from the home of Jason Perrin in State College, Pennsylvania

  • The tree arrived at the Plaza on Saturday and will be illuminated on live TV in a special on Wednesday, Nov. 29

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

Grab a cup of hot cider and dust off the Christmas cheer, one of the first signs of the holiday season made its gigantic entrance into New York City on Saturday.

The 75-foot-tall Norway spruce arrived by truck in midtown Manhattan early Saturday and was lifted into place by a giant crane to its seat of honor next to the iconic ice rink at Rockefeller Plaza.

See more pictures of the tree's journey here

The tree, which weighs more than 12 tons, comes from the home of Jason Perrin in State College, Pennsylvania. It was cut down Thursday morning before a horde of camera-ready spectators.

It is the 86th to grace the Plaza for the annual weeks-long display and the third from Pennsylvania.

"It's amazing, we've seen it just on TV and pictures of it, so to see it stand up is kind of a surreal moment," Darren Dickey, of Vancouver, said.

Erika Pauze, the head gardener for Rockefeller Center, said Thursday that she saw this year's tree while driving nearly seven years ago and was quick to ask if the owner was interested in making his backyard evergreen the most famous Christmas tree in the world. 

"It's hard to find a tree that's nice and full that doesn't have any storm damage or is growing crooked or anything," she said.

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, Nov. 29. 

It'll be on display until Jan. 7, 2018.

Last year's tree, a 94-foot Norway spruce from Angie and Graig Eichler in Oneonta, was the second largest ever chosen for the holiday celebration. 

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 was in 1933.

After the holiday season, the Rockefeller trees are cut into boards and donated to Habitat for Humanity