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Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Now Headed From Hudson Valley To NYC

The large spruce before it was cut down to take center stage at Rockefeller Center for the holidays.
The large spruce before it was cut down to take center stage at Rockefeller Center for the holidays. Photo Credit: Rockefeller Center/Instagram

The saws were buzzing as a great Norway spruce from the Hudson Valley was cut down to take the center stage at Rockefeller Center as this year's sparkling Christmas tree.

The tree, in the village of Florida in Orange County, graced the front yard of Carol Schultz, who hugged the tree before the cutting began. It was cut down around 9 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 7.

A large crowd, including hundreds of local students, gathered to watch the process and sing carols as the cutting began.

Once the tree -- which stands 77 feet tall, 46 feet in diameter, and weighs 14 tons -- was lifted on straps and hoisted on a crane to a flatbed truck, it began its trek to Manhattan where it will be covered in 50,000 LED lights.

The tree being moved onto a flatbed truck.

Rockefeller Center/Instagram

The tree was selected from thousands of submissions received each by Rockefeller Center.

Center officials said millions visit Rockefeller Plaza during the holiday season just to seek the extravagantly decorated tree.

"We usually select a Norway spruce that is later on in its life cycle, and plant a young one in its place," the Center said on Instagram.

The tree will be raised on the plaza on Saturday, Nov. 9, and will be lit for the first time on Wednesday, Dec. 4, an event that will be televised live on NBC.

And for history buffs -- the first Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was erected in 1931 by workers building the center during the Great Depression in an effort to cheer everyone up.

Once the holidays have passed, the tree is donated to Habitat for Humanity, where it is recycled and used as lumber in their building projects.⁣

Last year, the Rockefeller Center tree came from Wallkill, also in Orange County.

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