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The Roots of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

This year's Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a Norway spruce from upstate New York's backyard. The 94-foot tall, 14-ton spruce grew in the Eichler family's backyard, 170 miles from Manhattan in the Oneonta, New York, a city located in the northern foothills of the Catskill mountain range.

Erik Pauze, the head gardener of Rockefeller Center, was driving when he spotted the tree towering above the Eichler's house. Throughout the year, Pauze visits garden centers and nurseries in the Tri-State area—and as he travels, he detours through the back roads and scouts for the perfect specimen.

At 94 feet, this year's tree is only six feet shy of the tallest tree in Rockefeller Center's history, a 100-footer from Connecticut in 1999.

A work crew cut down the tree on Thursday, November 10 and transported it to Manhattan. On Saturday, November 12, swarms of people watched the workers raise the tree.

The tree's five miles of multi-colored LED lights will be lit during an annual tree lighting ceremony on November 30.

The annual tree lighting will take place on November 30 and remain lit and on display until 9 p.m. on January 7, 2017.

Written by Cassie Westrate, staff writer for Groups Today.

Photo courtesy of David Lat/


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