Every year at Rockefeller Center New Yorkers gather around to watch the annual tree lighting that goes on. It’s become a yearly tradition that a lot of people look forward to and count as a sign that things are all right with the world since it’s been going on for over eight decades now. People would still gather beneath a decorated Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center even when it was still under construction, though it was to collect their checks rather than truly express their sense of awe. As of now however each year it has become customary for the lighting of the tree to be something that’s watched and admired by many a native New Yorker.
But then what happens when the tree is taken down?
Obviously it can’t be replanted and it can’t just be hauled to the dump to rot away in a landfill. That would be a massive waste of a good resource and more to the point would be just a sad misuse of something that stands for such a symbol of hope within the state. Thankfully the trees are taken down, stripped, and used for lumber for homes after the holidays. Nothing is wasted other than that which can’t be used for any practical purpose. This kind of thing tends to bring hope that people are finally seeing the light and understanding that we need to use the resources we have in order to build on the future rather than using something once and chucking it once we don’t need it any longer.
So a lot of us will be chucking our trees after Christmas, right? I know I will, but I won’t just be tossing it in the dump. A lot of towns and cities now have taken up this example and have for years by finding uses for trees that don’t involve just tossing them in a hole and burying them. Whatever can be used now will be in many areas, and such programs as the one used for the tree in Rockefeller Center are being utilized in order to make the best use of the resource that might otherwise be left to rot.
Putting up that massive tree has to be a hard job but decorating it has to be even harder since the crane used to put it up must have to be moved countless times, unless of course there’s a system, which there is. Once the tree is set with a steel spike through its base and four guy wires to support it, scaffolding is then erected around it so that workers can decorate the massive specimen and adorn with the lights and ornaments that are as much a part of the ceremony as the tree itself. The star alone weighs about 550 pound and is 9 and a half feet tall. The star has been in use since 2004 so it’s still fairly new, relatively-speaking.
The tree has been a mainstay of Christmas in New York for a long time now, and it’s nice to know that they do something positive with it when the holiday’s over.