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Break out the Christmas cheer, the 2017 Rockefeller Center tree is here

Stephanie Keith | Getty Images North America | AFP
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: The Rockefeller Center tree arrives on November 11, 2017 in New York City. The 75-foot Norway Spruce from State College, Pennsylvania will become the 86th Christmas tree to grace the plaza. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images/AFP

The 75-foot tree arrived at New York City’s Rockefeller Center from State College, Pennsylvania on Saturday.

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.

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.

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