A helicopter scouts for the desired tree in areas including Connecticut, Vermont, Ohio, New Jersey, and even Ottawa, Canada. Once a suitable tree is located, a crane supports it while it is cut, and moves it to a custom telescoping trailer that can transport trees up to tall.
Once at the Rockefeller Center, the tree is supported by four guy wires attached at its midpoint, and by a steel spike at its base. Scaffolding is put up around the tree to assist workers in putting up 30,000 lights attached to of wiring.
The star, that has topped the tree since 2004 is in diameter and weighs . This "Swarovski Star" was created by the German artist Michael Hammers.
The tradition began during the Depression-era construction of Rockefeller Center, when workers decorated a small balsam fir tree with "strings of cranberries, garlands of paper, and even a few tin cans", as recounted by Daniel Okrent in his history of Rockefeller Center.
The decorated tree remains lighted at Rockefeller Center until the week after New Year's Day, when it is removed and recycled for a variety of uses. In 2007, the tree went "green," employing LED lights. After being taken down, the tree will be used to furnish lumber for Habitat for Humanity house construction.
Scientists Map out Christmas Tree's Complex Genome ; Experts Say Advances; in Technology Have Helped with Giant DNA Sequence
Dec 14, 2012; NEW YORK - To millions of people, the Christmas tree is a cheerful sight. To scientists who decipher the DNA codes of plants and...