The Rockefeller Christmas tree is back to its finest, after the three-day journey to Manhattan from its upstate home left the spruce looking decidedly
The Rockefeller Christmas tree is back to its finest, after the three-day journey to Manhattan from its upstate home left the spruce looking decidedly raggedy.
Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York, was delighted at the transformation – made possible thanks to ‘extensions’ of branches, and plenty of love and attention.
‘Bad news for all the Grinches out there — Christmas is coming to New York City!’ the mayor tweeted, with a photo of the tree.
Workers have spent weeks adjusting the 75-foot Norway spruce, which arrived in Manhattan on November 14.
The tree was looking sparse on November 14, but has now ‘blossomed’ into a festive wonder
It is currently being decorated, ahead of a lighting ceremony scheduled for December 2.
The ceremony is not open to the public, owing to the pandemic, but will be broadcast live on NBC.
Dolly Parton, the Goo Goo Dolls and Kelly Clarkson are among those due to perform on the night.
This year’s tree had the added attraction of a stowaway in its branches – a tiny saw-whet owl, which had hidden among the foliage for the journey into the city.
The little bird, nicknamed Rockefeller, was nursed back to full strength at Ravensbeard wildlife center in Saugerties and release into the wild on Tuesday night.
The tree was initially mocked for looking depressing.
One person said it was fitting for 2020, while another said it has the ‘same energy’ as Charlie Brown’s famously sad tree in the Peanuts cartoons.
Workers are still putting the final touches to the 75ft-tall Norway spruce
The tree will be lit in a ceremony on December 2, without the public present to watch
The saw-whet owl, nicknamed Rockefeller, was found nestling among the branches
Before the trip: The tree is seen where it stood in Oneonta before it was cut down. Homeowner Al Dick said that while the tree was beloved, he was glad to donate it due to the difficulties it created for yard maintenance
The shelter started the owl on a steady diet of fluids and mice, and she made a full recovery
One of the workers tasked with felling and transporting the tree discovered the tiny owl
Once the owl was given a clean bill of health from the vet she was released into the wild
Photos of the tree circulated online drawing disparaging remarks from a legion of Scrooges.
‘I expected nothing in 2020 to be good nice, or pretty and this tree confirms my dire expectations,’ one Twitter user wrote.
‘Decorate it with some limbs please,’ another chimed in.
‘This is treeson,’ punned one user.
The Rockefeller Center clapped back in a tweet written in the voice of the tree itself.
‘Wow, you all must look great right after a two-day drive, huh?
‘Just wait until I get my lights on! See you on December 2!’
Photos of the tree circulated online soon after it was erected on Saturday morning
Online Grinches have slammed the ‘scraggly’ Rockefeller Christmas tree as ‘the perfect symbol of 2020’. Above, the tree is seen as it is erected on November 14
It follows a similar controversy in Cincinnati, where the tree installed in Fountain Square was panned as a shrub reminiscent of ‘Charlie Brown’.
Photos of the tree before it was felled and transported show a lush, symmetrical specimen.
In New York, scaffolding had already gone up around the tree, and workers were busy coaxing the limbs back into place and stringing some five miles of lights through its branches.
Scaffolding was placed around the tree, and workers were busy stringing five miles of lights
View of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree being set up on November 15
Visitors should be able to visit the tree during the holiday season, provided they wear a face mask and socially-distance.
‘Details about how to visit the lit Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be announced in the coming weeks,’ the property managers said in a statement.
The holiday cheer comes amid a resurgence in the pandemic in New York City and across the country.
Al Dick (left) of Daddy Al’s General Store in Oneonta donated the tree to Rockefeller Center
Workers in Oneonta, New York, cut down the 75ft-tall, 11-ton Norway spruce
The tree is estimated to be between 75 and 80 years old, according to the family that owned it
Every year, the Rockefeller Center tree is decorated with thousands of lights on a five-mile-long wire and topped with a large star.
This year’s star will weigh 900 pounds, made up of some three million Swarovski crystals on 70 illuminated spikes.
This year’s tree was donated by Daddy Al’s General Store in Oneonta.
Al Dick said he was honored to have his tree erected in Rockefeller Plaza, and glad to be rid of the extra yard work it created.
It will likely remain on display in Rockefeller Center until early next year, at which point the tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity, which will recycle it as lumber.
The 75-foot tall Norway spruce arrived at Rockefeller Center in the early morning hours accompanied by a police escort along the 185-mile route from Oneonta, New York
In-person spectators will not be allowed at the lighting ceremony, which usually draws hundreds of holiday well-wishers
Every year, the Rockefeller Center tree is decorated with thousands of lights on a five-mile-long wire and topped with a large star. It is visited by millions of tourists and residents
New York City received a much-need boost with the arrival of a giant Christmas tree that marks the unofficial start of the 2020 holiday season
The tree is pictured being transported into the plaza outside the Rockefeller Center
Tishman Speyer, the company that owns Rockefeller Center, has said it’s especially proud to keep up the tree tradition this year.
The pandemic has spurred the cancellation of some other New York holiday customs, such as the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
It’s estimated that more than 125 million people typically visit Rockefeller Center during the holidays, but with tourism stalled amid the pandemic, it’s unlikely the usual frenzy will appear this year.
While this year’s tree measures at a towering 75 feet, the tallest ever spruce to stand in the center was seen in 1999, which was 100 foot tall. The tree that year came from Killingworth, Connecticut.