The 2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is Here!

2020 Rockefeller Christmas Tree Facts at a Glance
Tree origin Oneonta, NY
Tree donor Daddy Al’s General Store
Tree height 75 feet (22.86 meters)
Tree diameter 45 feet (13.71 meters)
Christmas tree lighting ceremony date Wednesday, Dec. 2, 7-10pm, at 30 Rockefeller Plaza
COVID-19 restrictions Yes. There will be no public access to the lighting ceremony (more details TBD)

There’s one holiday tradition in NYC the coronavirus pandemic won’t stop: the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. The 2020 Rock Center tree is an 11-ton Norway spruce, which clocks in at 75 feet tall and 45 feet in diameter.

2020 rockefeller center tree cutting
The 2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree was cut on the morning of Nov. 12 and loaded onto a flatbed trailer. It’s making its way to NYC and will be erected on Saturday, Nov. 14.
Courtesy Diane Bondareff, AP Images

Donated by Daddy Al’s General Store in Oneonta, the tree was cut down Nov. 12, 2020, hoisted by crane onto a flatbed truck, and make the 170-mile journey to its home for the holidays, Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan. And you’ll be able to see it standing tall at Rock Center starting Nov. 14. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for the scaffolding around the tree; it means the tree is being decorated for the annual tree lighting ceremony! While you’re in Rockefeller Center getting an advanced peek at the tree before it’s lit, stop by our favorite toy mecca, FAO Schwarz.

2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

For more than eight decades, Rockefeller Center has celebrated the start of the holiday season with the tree lighting ceremony. This year marks the 88th year of this iconic NYC holiday tradition—and approximately 5 miles of LED lights will be illuminated!

The 2020 Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place Wednesday, Dec. 2, 7-10pm, at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. However, there will be no public access to the ceremony; the public is invited to view the live national broadcast of Christmas in Rockefeller Center on NBC.

The public can see the lit tree (and capture that perfect Christmas card image or Instagram post) daily from 6am-12am. The tree will be illuminated for 24 hours on Christmas Day (Dec. 25), and from 6am-9pm on New Year’s Eve. That means there’s plenty of time to skate a few laps on the Rink at Rockefeller Center under the dazzling tree.

What happens to the Rockefeller Center tree after Christmas?

Continuing a longstanding tradition, the 2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity at the end of the holiday season. The tree will be milled, treated, and made into lumber that will be used to help build affordable homes for families.

Read Next | Teaching Giving this Holiday Season

The Start of a Tradition

first rockefeller center tree 1931

The first Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree was erected in 1931 by construction workers at the Rockefeller Plaza construction site. During the height of the Great Depression, the workers pooled their money together to buy a 20-foot balsam fir, which was then decorated with handmade garlands created by the workers’ families. The following year, Rockefeller Center decided to make the Christmas tree a holiday tradition and held the first tree lighting ceremony.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in midtown Manhattan. For more information, visit

Rockefeller Center’s First Tree: By Source, Fair use,

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