PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



State College Area Tree Headed To Rockefeller Center

by Geoff Rushton

Erik Pauze was visiting State College in September 2010 for a high school football game when he spotted it.

Head gardener for Rockefeller Center, Pauze is constantly on the lookout for trees that could serve as the New York City landmark’s annual Christmas tree, the focal point of a holiday celebration that draws tourists from around the world. The Norway spruce on the property of a home on Pikeview Road in College Township had everything he looks for.

“I’m looking for a nice , tall, straight tree that’s nice and full, one that after it makes it’s trip to New York and gets put up in Rockefeller Center it’s going to look good there too,” Pauze said. “When I saw it it was in great shape and it was nice and full, I thought ‘I gotta knock on that door tomorrow.'”

On Thursday, seven years later, that tree — measuring 75-feet tall, 50 feet in diameter and weighting approximately 12 tons — was cut, hoisted by a giant crane and loaded on a flatbed to make its way to Midtown Manhattan where it will be the 2017 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

It was donated by property owner Jason Perrin, who has owned the home there for the past 14 years. Perrin said when Pauze knocked on his door seven years ago, he at first thought it might be a joke.

“After I figured out it wasn’t a prank, Erik told me my tree looked like it was tall and wide enough, and full enough, and he thought that in a few years it might be ready to be theRockefeller Center Christmas tree,” Perrin said.

Property owner Jason Perrin talks about donating the spruce to be the 2017 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

Pauze returned each year to measure the tree and decided over the summer that this would be the year. He said the tree has grown about 10 feet since he spied it from the highway in 2010.

Perrin agreed to donate it. A Pittsburgh area native and Penn State graduate, Perrin worked for State College Area School District for 17 years, most recently as assistant superintendent. He recently relocated to Gettysburg to become superintendent of schools there.

“I’ve enjoyed the tree over the years, but I’m working in Gettysburg now so I’m kind of exiting with the tree,” he said.

The tree also was reaching its peak.

“It’s 75 feet tall, and the way those trees usually come down is wind and storms, then you’re paying $3,000 to have it cut up,” Perrin said. “I think this is one of the best ways for it to go.”

Crews have been preparing the tree for the move and on Thursday morning it was cut at the base with a chainsaw and lifted by a crane and turned on its side, then lowered onto a 115-foot flatbed truck waiting on East College Avenue. It will arrive at Rockefeller Plaza on Saturday morning to be raised off a trailer and put in place by crane.

After being cut at the base with a chainsaw, the tree is lifted by a crane.

A Swarovski crystal star will be place on top of the tree on Nov. 16 and the tree will be adorned with more than 50,000 multi-colored lights.

The official lighting will take place on Nov. 29 during the live broadcast of “Christmas in Rockefeller Center,” which will begin at 7 p.m. and air on NBC starting at 8 p.m. The tree then will remain lit through Jan. 7. After it’s taken down, it will be cut into lumber and donated to Habitat for Humanity for use in home building.

The Norway spruce is rotated by a crane to be lowered onto a flatbed truck

It marks the 85th year for Rockefeller Center’s tree lighting ceremony, and Perrin will be there to see his former spruce become, for one year, the most famous Christmas tree in the world.

“It’s fun. A lot of people are going to get to enjoy the tree and then after that it’s going to become part of someone’s home through Habitat for Humanity, which is also pretty cool,” Perrin said. “It’s probably a better end than most trees have.”

The tree is lowered onto a flatbed waiting on East College Avenue to begin its trip to Rockefeller Center.

About the Author

Posts from our partner website


More by

Herwig’s Austrian Bistro Sets Closing Date

Owner Bernd Brandstatter announced in March that restaurant would be closing between June and August, but the final day of business has been moved up.

Former Penn State Football Player Denies Burglary, Assault Accusations

Spats Cafe Collaboration With Allen Street Grill Set For Grand Opening


Reports: Tony Carr To Begin Professional Career In Italy

Tony Carr might have to wait a little longer than he had hoped to make his NBA debut.

Penn State Hockey’s Aarne Talvitie Showcases At Devils Development Camp

Penn State Hoops Releases 2018-19 Non-Conference Schedule

Forward Abdou Tsimbila Commits To Penn State Hoops

Penn State Volleyball Trio Representing U.S. At Pan-American Cup

Student Life

Penn State Student Dies Of Allergic Reaction To Peanuts

Max McGlinchey had just finished his freshman year studying finance.

Freshman 101: On-Campus Life

Student Farm To Commemorate Summer Solstice With Second Annual Celebration

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Indigo Closes, Future Plans For Nightclub Space Await

Indigo Nightclub announced that it would be closing following Arts Fest, but it doesn’t sound like the Hotel State College bar space would be empty for long

Playa Bowls To Open State College Location

Famous on the Jersey Shore for its brightly colored bowls and smoothies, Playa Bowls’ menu includes everything from açai and pitaya bowls to fresh juices.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Doggie’s Rathskeller And Garden Opens With Hopes Of Returning To Its Roots

The All-American Rathskeller is no more and Doggie’s Rathskeller and Garden is officially in business — opening with its “sneak peak” at the new bar Thursday afternoon in time for Arts Fest.

Send this to a friend