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Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Arrives at New Home

By Paul DeBenedetto | November 14, 2012 12:43pm

ROCKEFELLER CENTER — After standing up to Hurricane Sandy, a massive Norway Spruce from New Jersey found its new home on Wednesday morning — at the heart of Rockefeller Center.

The 10-ton, 80-foot long, 50-foot wide Christmas tree, the 80th to grace Rockefeller Center, made the trip from Flanders, N.J., to Midtown Manhattan, where it was hoisted by crane into position at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The roughly 80-year-old tree was selected before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, and was shielded from the storm by Rockefeller Center employees who secured the tree with more than 10,000 feet of rope and 2,000 feet of cable, according to information released by Rockefeller Center.

This year's tree was donated by Joseph Balku, a Flanders resident and Hungarian immigrant who moved to the United States in 1956 at the age of 20. Balku called the tree, "a reflection of the spirit and resilience of the New Jersey community," according to a statement from Balku.

The tree will be topped with a 9.5-foot wide crystal star from Swarovski, which will sparkle with 25,000 crystals and one million facets, and will be wrapped in more than five miles of LED lights, according to Rockefeller Center.

The 80th tree-lighting ceremony will take place on Nov. 28, from 7 to 9 p.m.