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About the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Posted: Nov 16, 2012 | 2:10 PM
by Jared Goldstein
About this year's Rockefeller Christmas Tree:

This Norway Spruce is from Flanders, NJ, in Morris County, donated by Joseph Balku, a Hungarian immigrant since 1956.  

When he moved in in 1973 the tree was 40 feet tall.  It is now twice as high.

Each year the Rock Center horticulturalist seeks the tree, sometimes by helicopter.
In mid October the tree was spotted by the Rockefeller Center tree scouting team after they got lost on their way back to New York City.

It survived the recent super storm Sandy.  The tree was already secured by 2.5 miles of rope and cord.  

Two other trees were down.  Balku lost power in the storm for more than a week, but his home survived with no damage.

Balku said:  "The tree will act as a symbol to all of us that New Jersey and everyone affected by the recent terrible weather will recover."

The tree is 80 feet tall and 50 feet wide, making it more massive than the average Rock Center tree.  It weighs 10 tons.

Balku donated it.  Besides the prestige, some trees pose a danger to homes, and removal is very expensive.

The tree-cutting is orchestrated. A team of about half-dozen workers attached the tree to a crane, and held it from all angles with rope, as another cut through it with a chainsaw, which took about five minutes.

Once cut through, the tree was suspended in midair, hanging from the crane.

Then, it was slowly turned to its side, swinging over the garage and nearby trees, and gently placed onto a 115-foot-long flatbed truck, where it was tied up and readied for delivery to Rockefeller Center.

There it will be decorated with over 30,000 lights on five miles of wire, and topped with a 91/2-foot-wide Swarovski crystal star adorned with 25,000 crystals.

The 80th annual lighting ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. Nov. 28 at 30 Rockefeller Center. The tree will remain lit until Jan. 7.

Afterwards the tree is usually recycled as mulch to protect trees in NYC parks, and as wood for Habitat for Humanity's home building programs for the needy.

This information is largely based on local coverage:



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