I took a quick trip to NYC last week and was able to go by Rockefeller Center and see this year’s tree. Here is the story for this year and some history:
The evergreen from Shelton,CT chosen for the 2013 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree will return to Fairfield County after the holidays to help give a family a place to live.
Tishman Speyer, the company that owns and operates Rockefeller Center, will mill lumber from the 76-foot-tall Norway spruce to be used by Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County to help build exterior and interior walls for a home in Bridgeport,CT.
This is the seventh consecutive year that the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity.
Many Rockefeller trees have been given to Rockefeller Center by donors. The late David Murbach,Manager of the Gardens Division of Rockefeller Center, scouted in a helicopter for the desired tree in areas including Connecticut,Vermont, Ohio, upstate New York, New Jersey, and even Ottawa, Canada.The trees are now scouted by the Head Gardner at Rockefeller Center, Erik Pauzé. Once a suitable tree is located, a crane supports it while it is cut, and moves it to a custom telescoping trailer that can transport trees up to 125 feet tall, although the width of New York City streets passing through Rockefeller Center limits the height of the trees to 110 feet.
Once at the Rockefeller Center, the tree is supported by four guy-wires attached at its midpoint, and by a steel spike at its base. Scaffolding is put up around the tree to assist workers in putting up 30,000 lights attached to 5 miles of wiring.
The star that has topped the tree since 2004 is 9.5 feet in diameter and weighs 550 pounds. This “Swarovski Star” was created by German artist Michael Hammers.
Although the official Christmas tree tradition at Rockefeller Center began in 1933 (the year the 30 Rockefeller Plaza opened), the unofficial tradition began during the Depression-era construction of Rockefeller Center, when workers decorated a smaller 20 feet (6.1 m) balsam fir tree with “strings of cranberries, garlands of paper, and even a few tin cans” on Christmas Eve(December 24, 1931).Some accounts have the tree decorated with the tin foil ends of blasting caps. There was no Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in 1932.
-excerpts from The Shelton Herald and Wikepedia