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Holiday arrival: Rockefeller tree ushers in Christmas season

APTOPIX Christmas Tree Rockefeller Center
Posted at 3:14 PM, Nov 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-12 15:14:32-05

NEW YORK — An iconic sign of Christmas arrived in New York City on Saturday as a crane hoisted an 82-foot (25-meter) Norway spruce into place at Rockefeller Plaza, where the 14-ton tree will be festooned with thousands of lights and topped with a star encrusted with millions of crystals.

The Christmas tree will be officially lit on Nov. 30.

The approximately 90-year-old tree was cut Thursday then lifted onto a flatbed truck for its 200-mile (322-kilometer) trip from Queensbury, New York, to New York City.

“We gave it with the expectation that everybody would enjoy it," said Neil Lebowitz, whose family donated the tree.

“To put it simply, it's a very surreal experience," Lebowitz told WCBS. "You know, one day it's standing, the next day it's on the road and it's here. Now it's a special tree, and it's something that we can all share around the world, whoever sees it.”

The tree, whose lower branches extend 50 feet (15 meters) in diameter, will be aglow with 50,000 multicolored lights and topped with a 900-pound (408-kilogram) star covered in 3 million crystals.

After the holidays, the tree will be milled into lumber for donation to Habitat for Humanity, officials said.