Journeys begin for traditional U.S. Christmas trees

Crews cut down the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree in Red River, New Mexico Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. (Courtesy KOB)

NEW YORK, N.Y. (WTHR) - Christmas trees are heading for Rockefeller Center and the U.S. Capitol for the holiday season.

A 14-ton Norway Spruce begins its trip to Rockefeller Center for the holiday season Thursday.

The 77-footer is the 88th tree to serve as a centerpiece for the annual display.

It was chosen in October and will be cut down Thursday in Florida in New York's Orange County.

A crane will put it on a flatbed for its ride into Manhattan, where it will be erected on Saturday, Nov. 9. After it’s decorated with 50,000 multi-colored lights and crowned with the iconic Swarovski star, the tree will be illuminated for the first time during a live television broadcast on Wednesday, Dec. 4, according to WNBC.

Another traditional tree has a longer trip, and got an earlier start.

Wednesday, crews in New Mexico’s Carson National Forest cut down this year's U.S. Capitol Christmas tree.

It's a 60-foot blue spruce that was loaded for its two-week, 1500-mile journey to Washington.

This is the second time a tree from New Mexico will stand on the west lawn of the Capitol.

The Rockefeller tree will come down Friday, Jan. 14, 2020 and be donated to Habitat for Humanity for wood for a new home.

The first Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was put up in 1931 by workers building the complex during the Great Depression. The official tree lighting started in 1933.