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This year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was donated by a Catholic family

J-P Mauro - published on 11/19/21

In the 90 years since the tradition began, this is the first tree to come from Maryland.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, a 90-year New York City tradition, has arrived in the Big Apple and is being prepared for its lighting. This year’s tree marks the first time that the Rockefeller tree was sourced from Maryland. It was donated by a Catholic family from Elkton, Maryland, who allowed it to be taken from their own yard. 

According to the Tablet, Erik Pauze, the head gardener at Rockefeller Center, came across the tree as he drove around the Northeastern U.S. countryside scouting for this year’s tree, in March. He discovered the 79-foot-tall, 46-foot-wide Norway Spruce on the property of Julie and Devon Price, who were hesitant to let the 90-year-old tree go. 

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Devon Price told the Tablet: 

“The decision to let it go to New York City to bring joy and happiness to millions of people — when we started off, we were reluctant, but obviously it’s the right decision for a better purpose for the tree than standing in the yard.”

The Prices went on to explain that the tree is in its prime and would have started to decline in coming years. With this in mind, they decided to share its pristine state with the world.

Gothamist reports that the 120-ton spruce was transported to New York on a 115-foot flatbed trailer. It was erected in Rockefeller Center on November 13, where it will stand until after the Christmas season. On December 1, it will be lit by 50,000 colored LED lights and topped by a 900-lb. Swarovski crystal star, which is reportedly made from 3 million crystals. 

“To have a tree like this come to New York City in its prime, probably the biggest stage it could ever be on, and bring joy and happiness to millions of people who hopefully can visit New York City through the holiday season … It’s awesome,” Devon told Gothamist this morning. Julie agreed, “We’re very happy, it’s a special time, it’s magical to have our tree be the showcase for NYC.”

Follow the development of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree here.

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