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CHRISTMAS

How big is the Rockefeller Christmas tree? How many lights does it have?

This year’s tree is some 80 foot tall and has taken nearly three-weeks to prepare for the opening ceremony tonight.

Update:
Ornaments adorn the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., November 28, 2023. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz
ELIZABETH FRANTZREUTERS

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has been a holiday tradition in New York City since 1933. From modest 20-foot beginnings, the trees are now often more than four-times as large.

According to the Rockefeller page, this year’s tree is a Norwegian Fir tree between 80 and 85-years-old, and stands at 80ft high. It is 43ft wide, weighs 12 tonnes and comes from Vestal, New York.

Over the years, the size of the tree has varied:

  • 1941-1945: During the Second World War there were no official tree lightings at Rockefeller Center. Instead, three trees were placed, unlit during 1944 due to wartime blackout regulations.
  • 1951: The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree returned to its glory after the war with a 65-foot Norway spruce.
  • 1966: The first tree from outside the United States was chosen, a 65-foot Norway spruce from Canada.
  • 1999: The last Christmas of the 20th century featured a stunning 100-foot tree, the then-tallest in Rockefeller Center history.
  • 2007: A 100-foot Norway spruce from Shelton, Connecticut, was adorned with 30,000 LED lights, making it one of the most energy-efficient trees at that time.
  • 2012: The 80-foot Norway spruce from Connecticut survived Superstorm Sandy, which hit the region in October 2012, before being placed in New York.

How many lights will be on the tree?

The tree will have more than 5,000 multi-colour LED lights and around 5 miles (8km) of wiring. At the top, the three-dimensional star, designed by the architect Daniel Libeskind in 2018, weighs around 900lbs (408kg) and has 70 spikes covered in Swarovski crystals.