2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Chosen — See How it Compares to 2020's Controversial Fir

"Meet the 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree!" Rockefeller Center posted to Twitter, debuting the 79-foot Norway spruce from Elkton, Maryland

The Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center
Photo: Benno Schwinghammer/picture alliance/Getty

This year's Rockefeller Center Christmas tree has been selected!

For the first time in the tradition's nearly 90-year history, the tree that will be on display in New York City's iconic Rockefeller Center has been scouted out of Maryland. The 79-foot Norway spruce was selected from the town of Elkton, a 140-mile trek from Rockefeller Plaza.

"Meet the 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree!" Rockefeller Center's official account posted Thursday to Twitter, along with a photo of the towering pine.

Since the tradition began in 1933, the tree has most often been sourced from Upstate New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Other trees have come from as far away as Canada.

The tree will be cut on Thursday, November 11, and is scheduled to arrive in Manhattan on Saturday. The annual lighting ceremony will take place Wednesday, December 1 and air on NBC.

The decorated tree will be wrapped in 50,000 multi-colored LED lights on about five miles of wire, and topped with a 900-lb. Swarovski star, complete with 70 spikes. The three-dimensional star was designed by architect Daniel Libeskind in 2018, adorned with 3 million crystals.

RELATED VIDEO: The 2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Is in NYC! See the 75-Foot Spruce

Last year's Rockefeller Center tree stirred up some controversy when it arrived looking a little sparse. The fir's less-than-full appearance sparked plenty of social media memes, with some remarking it was a reflection of the year 2020, which was marked by the pandemic, social unrest, wildfires and more.

"Wow, you all must look great right after a two-day drive, huh?" the Rockefeller Center Instagram jokingly wrote in response. "Just wait until I get my lights on!"

rockefeller tree
Courtesy of Keagan Gros; Cindy Ord/Getty Images

A few days after it arrived in New York, spectators noticed that it appeared to be getting some extra filler branches added to it. An onlooker at the scene told PEOPLE that a crew member working on adding the extensions to the tree said that it was "normal" to do so.

The tree looked full and festive by the time it was lit. "See? Girlfriend just needed better lighting and a few extensions," TODAY anchor Savannah Guthrie, 48, joked, sharing a photo of the previously scruffy-looking tree alongside a photo of it looking full and vibrant after the ceremony.

She told PEOPLE of the makeover, "I think our tree is beautiful. Hoda [Kotb] and I both know what it's like to have a bad hair day and have everyone see it."

Related Articles