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2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree on its way to New York City

Rockefeller Center Tree
Posted at 9:34 AM, Nov 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-12 11:23:08-05

An enormous Norway spruce that will soon become one of the U.S.'s most iconic Christmas trees is on its way to New York's Rockefeller Center.

The 79-foot-tall, 12-ton tree was cut down Thursday in Elkton, Maryland and loaded onto a flatbed truck.

According to WNBC-TV, the tree was growing on the property of homeowners Devon and Julie Price. They said they were approached earlier this year by Erik Pauze — the head gardener for Rockefeller Center — who had spotted the tree while passing through the area.

WNBC reports that the family was at first hesitant to give up their tree.

"Honestly, we said, 'No way, you can't have it,'" Devon Price said.

Eventually, the family relented. They said they've visited the Rockefeller Center tree in the past and decided they couldn't pass up the opportunity to be a part of history.

"We were very surprised, but we are happy to be able to share it with everyone," Julie Price told WNBC. "It's a special tree, and it will be beautiful at Rockefeller Center, and I hope everybody enjoys it."

The Associated Press reports that 2021 will mark the first time that the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree has come from Maryland.

After workers cut through the tree's 46-inch trunk, a crane lifted the tree onto a flatbed truck. That began the tree's 140-mile to Manhattan that will take more than two days.

Once the tree arrives on Saturday, workers will begin the process of installing it and decorating it with thousands of LED lights.

The tree lighting will take place on Dec. 1 in a live TV broadcast.

Delaware Online reports that when the tree is taken down, the lumber will be donated to a Habitat for Humanity chapter near Elkton.