Get Ready for the Rockefeller Christmas Tree — All 82 Feet of It

The Rockefeller Christmas tree is a beloved annual holiday tradition. But how much does the tree cost? We have all the details on the famous tree.

Kathryn Underwood - Author

Nov. 30 2022, Published 2:01 p.m. ET

Rockefeller Christmas tree
Source: Getty Images/Dimitrios Kambouris

An icon of the holidays, the Rockefeller Christmas tree has become a popular annual tradition. Every year since 1933, the massive tree has been a key focal point of New York City’s Rockefeller Center during the holiday season. Here’s everything you want to know about this tradition. First of all, how much does the Rockefeller Christmas tree cost?

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The massive Norway spruce tree would cost tens of thousands of dollars to purchase outright. However, the tree itself is donated to the Rockefeller Center each year. However, there are plenty of other expenses associated with growing, transporting, and decorating the tree.

How much does the Rockefeller Christmas tree cost?

Rockefeller Christmas tree
Source: Getty Images/Dimitrios Kambouris

According to some sources, the tree would cost over $73,000 to purchase. The tree is donated, and other costs are incurred for electricity and transportation of the tree.

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The Annual Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Kicks off the Holiday Season

Rockefeller Center
Source: Rockefeller Center Facebook

On Wednesday, Nov. 30, the Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting ceremony will take place. According to CNN, VIP tickets to the experience are sold out. Those lucky attendees receive a prime viewing spot and cocktails. On 49th Street and 50th Street, there are public viewing areas for other spectators.

Anyone can tune in to watch the ceremonial tree lighting at 8 p.m. EST on NBC. A two-hour televised special is planned, with performances by Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, the Radio City Rockettes, Andrea Bocelli, and Alicia Keys.

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How tall is the Rockefeller Christmas tree?

Anyone who loves Christmas trees and decorations will enjoy gazing at this huge tree in Manhattan. This year’s tree is approximately 82 feet tall and 50 feet wide.

A tree so large is also quite heavy to transport, at about 14 tons. The tree is estimated to be around 85 to 90 years old.

Here’s an Estimate of the Electric Bill for Lighting the Rockefeller Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree will be lit between the hours of 6 a.m. to midnight each day once the official lighting ceremony is completed. On Christmas Day, the tree remains lit up for 24 hours, and on New Year’s Eve, the hours are shortened and the lights are turned off at 9 p.m.

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It won’t be cheap to power the tree, which features around 50,000 multicolored LED lights. However, the 2007 switch to LED lights reduced energy consumption quite a bit. It isn't clear what the cost (and cost savings) are.

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Energy consumption went from about 3,510 kwH to 1,297 kwH per day for the Rockefeller Christmas tree. According to Electrical Marketing, this saves as much energy as a typical 2,000-square-foot household consumes per month. The solar panels on one Rockefeller Center building also contribute to energy efficiency by helping to power the LEDs.

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A 2015 estimate of energy use stated that the tree lighting tradition emits around 54 tons of carbon during the Christmas season. For comparison, a New York City cab might do the same damage in three years of driving.

How much is the Rockefeller Christmas tree star worth?

Rockefeller Christmas tree
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The star must be as impressive as the 82-foot-tall Christmas tree it will adorn, and it seems it will live up to that goal. A star covered in 3 million Swarovski crystals will top the Norway spruce.

NBCNewYork reported that the star weighs a whopping 900 pounds. The crystals are mounted on 70 illuminated spikes. LovingNewYork estimates the star to be worth $1.5 million.

Early in January, the Rockefeller Christmas tree will be removed and milled into lumber to benefit Habitat for Humanity.


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