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The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree 2021: What You'll Want to Know

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree 2021: What You'll Want to Know

The 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, a 12-ton Norway spruce, will arrive and be erected at Rockefeller Center on Saturday, Nov. 13.

Nothing says Christmas in New York City quite like the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. The 2021 Rock Center tree has been picked out, and we're excited to announce that it's a 12-ton Norway spruce from Elkton, MD that measures in at an impressive 79 feet tall and 46 feet wide! This is the first time ever that the Rock Center tree will come from Maryland.

The majestic tree, which is approximately 85 years old, will be cut on Nov. 11 and is set to arrive at Rock Center on Saturday, Nov. 13. You'll be able to see the tree in all its natural glory that day and in the coming weeks, but you'll have to be patient about seeing it lit up for the holidays! Trimming a tree as big as this is no easy feat, so it'll take workers some time to decorate it before the official Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. After all, there are more than 50,000 multi-colored LED lights (that’s nearly 5 miles of lights!) on this tree.

We're as eager as you are to see the tree lit in all its glory, but there's still plenty of holiday fun to be had in the meantime! Go ice-skating at the Rink at Rockefeller Center (opening this weekend!), get some holiday shopping done at Bryant Park's Winter Village, or even head to a local farm to pick out your family's very own real Christmas tree this year!

2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Facts at a Glance

Tree origin Elkton, MD
Tree height 79 feet
Tree width 46 feet
Tree weight 12 tons
Tree age Approx. 85 years
Tree lighting date Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 30 Rockefeller Plaza


When is the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony?

The Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony is on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, at 8pm. It will be  broadcast live on Peacock in a special called Christmas in Rockefeller Center. NBC News' TODAY co-anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker and Craig Melvin will host the event.

Prior to the primetime telecast, an additional live hour of the special will be broadcast on all NBC-owned television stations and on numerous NBC affiliates from coast to coast, starting at 7pm. This special live hour will be hosted by Access Daily and Access Hollywood's Mario Lopez along with NBC 4 New York's Natalie Pasquarella and David Ushery.

This is the 89th year that Rockefeller Center will host the tree lighting ceremony.

Who will perform at this year's tree lighting ceremony?

There will be festive performances by Alessia Cara, Harry Connick Jr., Mickey Guyton, Norah Jones, Brad Paisley, Rob Thomas, Carrie Underwood and more. The evening will include a duet featuring Paisley and Thomas and a special performance by the Radio City Rockettes. 

Can the public attend the tree lighting ceremony?

In-person viewing of the tree lighting is restricted capacity with limited views. Attendees must wear a mask. 

When can I see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree this holiday season?

After the lighting ceremony, the Rockefeller Center tree will be lit daily from 6am-12am. On Christmas Day, it will stay lit for 24 hours. On New Year's Eve, it will stay lit from 6am-9pm. A closing date has not been announced. 

Where is the tree located?

The Rockefeller Center tree  is located at Rockefeller Plaza, between 48 and 51 Streets, in Manhattan right above the iconic ice-skating Rink at Rockefeller Center. 

How do I get to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree?

The closest subway stop is 47-50 Sts-Rockefeller Center on the BDFM (it has an elevator, making it a great stop for families with strollers!), though the 5 Avenue-53 St E stop and 49 St station on the NRW are just a few blocks away.

When did the first Christmas tree come to Rockefeller Center? 

The first Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree was erected in 1931 by construction workers at the Rockefeller Plaza construction site. During the height of the Great Depression, the workers pooled their money together to buy a 20-foot balsam fir, which was then decorated with handmade garlands created by the workers’ families. The following year, Rockefeller Center decided to make the Christmas tree a holiday tradition and held the first tree lighting ceremony.

What happens to the Rockefeller Center tree after Christmas?

Continuing a longstanding tradition, the 2021 Rockefeller Center tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity at the end of the holiday season. The tree will be milled, treated, and made into lumber that will be used to help build affordable homes for families.

For more information, visit, or follow Rock Center on Facebook and Instagram

Main photo by lev radin/

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Barbara Russo

Author: Barbara Russo is a freelance writer who holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the City University of New York. She enjoys playing guitar, following current events, and hanging out with her pet rabbits. See More

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