Meet the new 2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree

The annual holiday display of a Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center plaza first kicked off in 1931.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Kerry Breen

The holiday season is in full swing at Rockefeller Center!

This morning, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was delivered to its new home on the plaza. The 77-foot-tall Norway spruce will stay up through the holidays, providing plenty of seasonal cheer.

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This year's tree comes from Florida, New York, a small town in upstate and weighs approximately 12 tons, making it about 5 feet taller and 2 tons heavier than last year’s Norway spruce. The tree, which is estimated to be between 70-75 years old, was donated by Carol Schultz and began its journey to the Big Apple on Thursday.

"I always said, 'You're going to be up in Rockefeller Center someday and you're going to be a beautiful tree when you get older,'" said Schultz, who planted the tree in 1959. "When I see the tree lit up, I'm probably going to cry."

In addition to the bright lights, the tree will be topped with a newly redesigned star from Swarovski Crystals and famed architect Daniel Libeskind. Weighing approximately 900 pounds, the three-dimensional star features 70 spikes covered in 3 million crystals and will be illuminated with innovative LED backlighting, ensuring a stunning, sparkling display.

The "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" tree lighting ceremony will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 4, starting at 7:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on NBC. More than 50,000 multicolored LEDs will sparkle until Jan. 17, when the tree will be taken down and donated to Habitat for Humanity for use as lumber.

This year, the tree viewing period has been extended, so thousands of spectators will be able to enjoy the national holiday attraction. In past years, the tree has drawn an average of 800,000 daily visitors to the heart of New York City.

"My hope is that it will bring happiness to people, and I hope they enjoy it," said Schultz.

After the tree is officially lit on Dec. 4, spectators will be able to view it with the lights on every day from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m., all day on Christmas Day and from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on New Year's Eve. The tree will be lit until 7 p.m. on Jan. 17.