After all the presents have been unwrapped, and those Yuletide carols have all been sung, millions of folks around the world suddenly find themselves with a withering young pine tree in their living-room whose time has come. Sadly, most of these old Christmas trees, so beloved and cherished just a few weeks earlier, end up unceremoniously cast to the curb to be made into mulch. But for some of the most famous Christmas trees, like the ones adorned each year in New York City's Rockefeller Center, the passing year brings with it a new life -- providing something a bit more lasting than holiday cheer.Every year since 1933, the Rockefeller Center has erected a Christmas tree out front -- and over the decades, it's watching it being lit has become a holiday tradition across the country, making it perhaps one of the most recognizable trees in the world. The tree has even taken on some eco-friendly attributes; Starting in 2007, the began to be lit using LED lights.
But unlike most single-family Christmas trees, those decorating Rockefeller Center have a tendency to be huge. 2010's towering Norwegian spruce reached upwards of 74 feet, with plenty of wood to be put to good use -- and what good use it is. The lumber from this year's tree has been donated to Habitat for Humanity, ensuring that it will be appreciated for many more Christmases to come.
In the short-film above, Keith Douglas of Rockefeller Center explains the tree's commendable afterlife:
Once the tree is put on the Plaza, we remove the branches. Those branches are then trucked-off and made into mulch. The main trunk remains here on the Plaza and then we mill that into lumber which is donated to Habitat for Humanity. We always donate the tree back to the state or the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity where the tree originated. And this year, the tree will be used in the construction of two homes in Newburgh.
More on the Afterlife of Christmas Trees
Recycle a Christmas Tree; Make a Stool
Turn your Christmas Tree Into a Feast For The Birds
Use Your Christmas Tree in the Garden