78-Foot Norway Spruce Becomes 2015’s Rockefeller Center Tree
If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Who cares? When a tree falls in Gardiner, N.Y., the whole darn world hears it.
Hundreds of Hudson Valley residents and a media horde descended on Albert Asendorf's front yard Wednesday morning to watch his 78-foot tree come down. The Norway Spruce will get a new life as the 2015 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.
The 80-year-old tree journey to becoming Gardiner's second most famous resident — sorry, Sprucey: Robert DeNiro's got one up on you — was a couple years in the making.
"We were going to knock down the tree ourselves last year and we thought maybe somebody might want it," Asendorf told WPG's sister station, 101.5 WPDH. "So I was looking around on the internet and found Rockefeller Center's website."
After submitting a picture, Asendorf and Nancy Puchalski, his partner of 22 years, received a visit from Rockefeller Center Head Gardener Erik Pauze.
"When I came up to take a look at I knew it would be a great tree for Rockefeller Center," Pauze said in Gardiner before the Norway Spruce was cut down. "It's a nice, tall, full-shaped tree. Nice shape to it. A lot of nice strong branches in it."
Rockefeller Center staff began taking care of the tree to prepare the Norway Spruce for its moment in the spotlight. The tree was wrapped this week in preparation for its removal.
Many of the Hudson Valley residents who came to see the 10-ton tree moved by crane to a 115-foot long trailer before its journey to Manhattan considered the happening a once in a lifetime opportunity.
"Being at Rockefeller Center, you don't get see it as well because there's so many people. And here, your home town, you get to see it," Lisa Philhower of Plattekill said.
The tree will be erected at Rockefeller Center on Friday, with the annual tree lighting ceremony set to take place one Wednesday, Dec. 2.