Queensbury Norway Spruce selected for Rockefeller Center Christmas tree – almost by chance

FILE - The 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
PHOTOGRAPHER:

FILE - The 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

QUEENSBURY — New York City’s Rockefeller Center announced Tuesday it found its 2022 Christmas tree in Queensbury — a tree chosen almost by chance.

The tree is 82 feet tall, 50 feet in diameter and weighs 14 tons, according to the center.

The Norway spruce also will soon be transported to New York City, decorated with 50,000 LED lights and officially lit on Nov. 30.

While the official details of the tree, including its owners and location, weren’t included in materials available Tuesday, the center’s official tree selector discussed how he found it, in an article on the Rockefeller Center site, RockefellerCenter.com.

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He’d actually gone to Glens Falls in May on a tip related to a different tree, Rockefeller Center head gardener Erik Pauze said on the site.

“This year, someone sent me a photo of a tree in Glens Falls, New York, so I went to go check it out,” Pauze is quoted as saying on the site. “On the way to go see it, I passed another tree in a vacant lot [in Queensbury], and thought to myself, ‘I need to come back to this tree.’ After I finished with the other tree, I went back, walked up and down both sides of the street, and took a few pictures. I then did some calling around to find out who the owner of the tree was and made an appointment to inspect it closer.”

According to Queensbury Town Supervisor John Strough, the tree was donated by the Lebowitz family.

“We’re pleased to be the host of that tree and want to thank the Lebowitz family for their donation. I will look forward to visiting New York City and proudly sitting before our erect tree all decorated and knowing that it comes from Queensbury,” Strough said.

Despite the announcement, the exact location of the tree was being kept secret Tuesday to keep it safe from potential souvenir hunters as it awaits transport, Strough said.

The tree will be lit up on Nov. 30 in a live broadcast on NBC. After the holiday season wraps up, it will be milled into lumber and donated to Habitat for Humanity, according to NBC New York.

It’s not the first time a tree from the area has been in the limelight. According to Strough, in 1969 a tree from Crandall Park in Glens Falls was selected as the Christmas tree for the White House.

As for what caught Pauze’s eye about the tree in the first place, Pauze told the site the Queensbury tree fit everything they needed.

“When I saw it over the top of a couple of stores, I hoped the bottom looked as good as the top,” Pauze told the site. “When I got closer, I knew it was perfect … I figured, let’s get this one to Rockefeller Center.”

RockefellerCenter.com: Meet the Man Who Has Picked the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree for Three Decades, Nov. 1, 2022

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