What Eventually Happens to New York’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree?
On Wednesday, November 1, the world learned that the 2023 Rockefeller Christmas Tree was being donated by a family in Vestal, New York, and questions were raised as to what happens to the tree following its display in Rockefeller Center.
When the holiday season ends, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree finds new life through repurposing efforts. The tree, stripped of its lights and decorations, is given a new purpose in various sustainability initiatives.
Since 2007, the lumber milled from the famous tree has been repurposed to help build Habitat homes, turning a Christmas tradition into a symbol of joyous celebrations.
Tishman Speyer, the owner and operator of Rockefeller Center, has been instrumental in this process. Each year, they generously donate the lumber from the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree to Habitat for Humanity. Company staff members then work alongside a deserving family, transforming a symbol of festive grandeur into a safe and stable place they can call home. This partnership has allowed millions of people to celebrate the season while giving back to those in need.
Once the holiday season ends, these majestic trees are transformed into two-by-four and two-by-six beams through milling. Tishman Speyer then donates this lumber to the Habitat for Humanity cause.
The wood from Norway Spruce trees possesses exceptional flexibility and durability, making it perfect for blocking, flooring, furniture, cabinetry, and even load-bearing walls. Over the years, lumber from the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree has been utilized in Habitat homes across various states, from New York to Mississippi, creating a lasting legacy of holiday cheer and giving.
The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tradition dates back to 1931 when workers on the excavation site put up a 20-foot balsam fir to celebrate the holidays. In 1933, Rockefeller Center made the tree an annual tradition, and since then, it has become an iconic symbol of the holiday season.
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