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Queensbury tree wrapped and ready for cutting, transport to Manhattan

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The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree off Main Street in Queensbury, seen here on Monday, has been wrapped and will be cut later this week for the New York City tree-lighting ceremony to be held on Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. Here, a crew clears the grounds around the tree in preparation for the cutting ceremony on Thursday morning. 

QUEENSBURY — The Lebowitz family’s 82-foot-tall Norway spruce is tied up and almost ready to be chopped to be used as the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree this year.

The tree is set to be cut at 8 a.m. Thursday, according to Mike Stouber, Rockefeller Center public relations manager.

“There’s not too much that I can share but on the morning of Nov. 10, the tree will be cut down and put on a flatbed truck and driven from upstate and be delivered to Rockefeller Center on Saturday,” he said.

When it arrives in the city, approximately 5 miles of lights will be hung from the branches of the more than 85-year-old tree. The first Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was put up by construction workers in 1931 that were building the center.

“There will be more than 50,000 lights added to it with a Swarovski star added to the top of it. It takes days for the team to work on it to get it ready for its big debut,” he said.

The tree will be loaded onto a 115-foot trailer to be hauled back to the city for its arrival Saturday.

Passersby on Monday stopped to marvel at it before it’s gone.

“It’s amazing to see such a fabulous and glamorous ending to a tree. It made me stop dead in my tracks when I saw the Rockefeller Center barricade,” Christine France of Queensbury said.

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Christine France of Queensbury poses in front of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree on Monday. She stopped at the Main Street site in Queensbury to take photos.

France is native Long Island native said she remembers visiting the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree while living in the city. Seeing the tree before it’s transported to the city was a new perspective to add to her memories of the historic tree lighting.

“I moved upstate years ago, and in the past couple of years people have moved up here to get away from the city. ... I think a lot of people are seeing how nice it is up here,” she said.

Sarah and Jeff Bolstad stopped to get a photo with the tree with their two kids. Sarah said she’s happy that her kids have the chance to see history in the making.

“We heard about it from a friend and we decided to come and see it ourselves. We moved back up here 13 years ago and it’s exciting to see the tree as well as the positive recognition for the area,” she said.

The tree will be milled following the holidays and repurposed by Habitat for Humanity to help build playgrounds and beyond, according to Stouber.

“The tree will be milled and lumbered and it will be used for Habitat for Humanity. They will build homes with some of the lumber and the milled pieces will be used for playgrounds and things like that. ... It’s donated to good use and it’s a way to have the tree live on,” he said.

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A crew clears the grounds surrounding the 2022 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree off Main Street in Queensbury on Monday. The tree will be cut and transported to New York City later this week. 

Bolstad said she was glad to hear that none of the tree will be wasted, even after the holidays are over.

“I’m a tree person and I was worried about the age and life of it, but I heard about how they try to pick older trees and they donate it to Habitat for Humanity and that made me feel better.”

The cutting will begin on Thursday at 8 a.m. with a press conference at 7 a.m. with gardener Erik Pauze in attendance to answer questions about the transportation of the tree.

Caton Deuso is a staff reporter who covers Glens Falls, Hudson Falls, and can be reached at 518-742-3224 or 518-338-2046.


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