The Christmas season has officially begun with the arrival of New York’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree on Saturday morning.
The 75-foot-tall Norway spruce arrived by truck from State College, Pennsylvania, and will be decorated with more than 50,000 lights in time for its nationally broadcast illumination from Rockefeller Center Plaza on November 29.
This year's 75-foot Christmas tree arrives at Rockefeller plaza! pic.twitter.com/PKNrhtueB8— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 11, 2017
The head gardener for Rockefeller Center, Erik Pauze, said Thursday when it was cut down that he has had his eye on this particular tree for almost seven years.
While visiting State College in September 2010 for a high school football game, Pauze spotted the tree and knew it would be perfect for New York’s Christmas display.
“I’m looking for a nice, tall, straight tree that’s nice and full, one that after it makes its trip to New York and gets put up in Rockefeller Center it’s going to look good there, too,” Pauze told State College News.
“When I saw it was in great shape and it was nice and full, I thought ‘I gotta knock on that door tomorrow.'”
Jason Perrin, the owner of the property, who donated the tree, said that when Pauze knocked on his door seven years ago he thought it might have been a joke.
“After I figured out it wasn’t a prank, Erik told me my tree looked like it was tall and wide enough, and full enough, and he thought that in a few years it might be ready to be the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree,” Perrin said.
The 12-ton tree will remain on display until January 7, 2018. After it is taken down, it will be cut into planks and donated to Habitat for Humanity.