A massive delivery is on its way to New York City. This morning in the Orange County village of Florida, New York, about an hour and a half drive from New York City, crowds of people from near and far gathered outside the home of treeowner Carol Schultz to watch the 2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree get cut down. The tree will now make its way down to Rockefeller Center aboard a flatbed truck, arriving on Saturday, November 9th.
The 77-foot tall, 14-ton Norway Spruce stood on Schultz’s property for sixty years. Schultz purchased the tree as a sapling in 1959 and kept it inside on her coffee table at first. Eventually, she planted the tree in her front yard where it grew to its current size. Measuring 46-feet in diameter at its widest along the branches, the tree is estimated to be between 70-75 years old. In 2010, with the tree full and lushly grown, Schultz submitted it for consideration to become the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Though it didn’t get selected that year, Schultz told Untapped New York, “I always had hopes it would be chosen and I kept telling it ‘You’re gonna get there!” Nine years later, Schultz’s tree finally caught the attention of Rockefeller Center’s head gardener Erik Pauze.
Carol Schultz outside her home
“Back in the early spring I was driving around, I specifically came up here to look for trees and a little bit off to the north I saw the top of the tree,” says Pauze, “I worked my way over here, found the tree and knocked on the door. When they told me they had sent it in and I found it, I said ‘This has got to go to Rock Center now.'” In order to earn the honor of being the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, Pauze says it needs to be “a nice full tree. Something that’s going to look great in front of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The kind of Christmas tree you want in your living room.” Pauze is constantly on the look out for the next Christmas Tree.
The tree was cut down this morning and hoisted by a huge crane onto a 115-foot long trailer. You can watch the process on our Instagram story! After only about a minute of cutting through the trunk with a chain saw, the crane attached to the tree gently lifted it from the stump. After a round of celebratory fist bumps among the crew, the next approximately five minutes was spent hoisting the tree sideways and very carefully lowering it onto the flatbed.
The tree will be erected at Rockefeller Center this Saturday to be prepped for the 87th Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on Wednesday, December 4. Visitors will be able to see the tree on display through Friday, January 17, 2020. 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. The tree-owner will be given a slice of the tree stump and a new tree will be planted in its place.
Schultz is excited to see the tree all lit up at Rockefeller Center, where it will be decked out in 50,000 multi-colored, energy efficient LED lights and crowned with a Swarovski star. “I haven’t seen lights on it in a long time. When it was small I had lights on it,” she said. Wearing sparkly tree-shaped sunglasses at the tree cutting, Schultz expressed here gratitude for having her tree chosen this year, “I’m privileged for them to have picked it….It’s perfect. It’s a perfect shaped tree.” Check out more photos from this morning’s tree cutting below!
Next, check out Top 10 Secrets of Rockefeller Center in NYC