Rockefeller Center Christmas tree cut

Story highlights

  • Tree is a 74-foot tall Norway spruce
  • It weighs approximately 10 tons and is approximately 75 years old
  • It will be decorated with 30,000 multi-colored lights on five miles of wire
Every year Debra Keller would take her granddaughters to New York City to take in the holiday traditions -- going to a show, having lunch at their favorite restaurants, shopping and a visit to the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.
This year when they visit Rockefeller Center, it will be their own tree.
The 74-foot tall Norway spruce that once provided a shade and a scenic sight on their lawn in Pennsylvania will become the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree for 2011.
"To be honest it won't be sad to see the tree go," said Keller, 56, in a statement. "We just feel honored that the tree was chosen and will be enjoyed by so many people when it's sitting in the middle of Rockefeller Center."
The iconic Christmas tree is expected to arrive on a flatbed truck Friday morning and will grace Rockefeller Center in Manhattan when it's officially erected at the end of November.
The Norway spruce weighing approximately 10 tons was cut down Wednesday morning in Mifflinville, Pennsylvania, and hoisted by a huge crane onto a 115-foot-long trailer where it will be driven to Manhattan. The 46-foot-wide tree will be raised at Rockefeller Center Friday morning.
The tree, which is approximately 75 years old, was first spotted by the Rockefeller Center team during a routine drive down Interstate-80. Rockefeller Center's head gardener saw the tree out of the corner of his eye from the driver's seat.
The tree made an immediate impression standing tall on the lawn of Debra Keller's 79 year-old mother Nancy's house where she has lived since 1969.
When the tree is finally decorated for its tree lighting November 30th, it will hold 30,000 multi-colored lights on five miles of wire and will be topped with a Swarovski crystal star, adorned with 25,000 crystals and one million facets.
The first tree was erected in 1931 by construction workers developing Rockefeller Center. The first formal Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony was held in 1933 and was decked with 700 lights in front of the then eight-month-old RCA building.