Torsilieri Family installs Rockefeller tree for 27th year

Torsilieri Landscaping Company di Gladstone, New Jersey, da 27 anni installa il tradizionale e gigantesco albero di Natale al Rockefeller Center di New York City.

New York City's Rockefeller Plaza Christmas tree's 25,000 lights will be turned on Wednesday, December 2, and will remain on until January 7, the day after the Epiphany. The visitation by millions begins with a lighting tradition that began in 1933 before the RCA Building.

The Norway spruce came from the home of Maria Corti of Easton, CT, who has no idea when the tree was planted or by whom. She bought the home two years ago.

The Torsilieri Landscaping Company of Gladstone, NJ has installed the Rockefeller Center tree for 27 consecutive years, a tradition begun by their father, Carl Torsilieri, who passed away in recent years. Carl founded the landscape company after his discharge from the Navy in 1968.

The 2009 Christmas tree is 77 feet tall, 40 feet in diameter and weighs 8 tons. Topping the tree is a 12-foot-high crystal star that measures 9.5 feet in diameter and weighs more than 500 pounds. The LED bulbs are energy efficient and, according to Guy Torsilieri, will be in use by everyone across the country within five years. It will take the Torsilieri Landscaping Company's staff of 15 to take down the tree.

The tree will be lit most of Christmas Eve and around the clock on Christmas Day.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Facts:

  • The first tree was put up in Rockefeller Center in 1931.
  • In 1942, three trees were decorated: one in red, one in blue and the other white to honor World War II troops.
  • Singer Kate Smith of headlined the first telecast of the lighting in 1951.
  • Norway Spruce that grow in forests don't typically meet the Rockefeller Center measurement requirements, so the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tends to be one that was ornamentally planted in someone's front or back yard. There is no compensation offered in exchange for the tree, other than the pride of having donated the tree that appears in Rockefeller Center.
  • Over five miles of lights are used to decorate the tree every year.
  • The tree is recycled every year and the three tons of mulch are donated to the Boy Scouts. The largest portion of the trunk is donated to the U.S. Equestrian team in New Jersey to use as an obstacle jump.
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