The 2009 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, Donated By Maria Corti, Arrived In New York City Weighing In At 10 Tons, 40 Foot Diameter, And 76 Feet Tall

Iconic Christmas Tree Takes Center Stage

Rockefeller Christmas Tree

It’s heeeeere! The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree has arrived. The 76-foot-high Norway spruce, which belonged to fifth-grade teacher Maria Corti, was cut down in Easton, Conn. yesterday.

It was transported to New York City on a special flatbed truck, and was hoisted into place this morning. (The tree generally travels during the night with a police escort; it usually takes 15-20 people and a 280-ton crane to handle the behemoth.)

Maria Corti Earns The Honor

The tree clocks in at more than 10 tons; it's 40 feet in diameter. Minimum requirements say that the tree must be at least 65 feet tall and 35 feet wide; although between 75 and 90 feet high is favored.

A Norway spruce is generally preferred (they’re not native to this country, but many were planted ornamentally), and if you were wondering, no money changes hands--it’s the pride of having your tree assume its place near the Prometheus Statue and the ice skating rink.

A Christmas Tradition Since 1933

The tree will be covered in scaffolding as workers start adorning it--over five miles of lights are used to decorate the tree every year. The first Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was erected in 1931 as workers were building the complex during the depression.

First tree lighting? 1933. The tree is located in the center of the plaza, at 50th Street and 5th Avenue. The official tree lighting is on December 2.