Rockefeller Center Defends 2020 Christmas Tree After Social Media Calls It a 'Charlie Brown' Tree

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree may be anything but magical, according to some on social media, but that isn't stopping the Rockefeller Center from showing it plenty of love. After the 75-foot-tall Norway Spruce made the days-long drive from Oneonta, New York, to New York City over the weekend to continue the quintessential New York tradition, the Rockefeller Center found it coming to the spruce’s defense after it drew comparisons to the Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

Discussion about the 2020 Christmas tree was sparked immediately after images and videos made their way to social media. For many, the sparsely placed branches and multiple bare spots visible on the tree led to one conclusion: the Rockefeller Center must have drawn inspiration from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Across social media, people pointed out the resemblance, with one writing that "Charlie Brown would be proud." The discourse eventually prompted the Rockefeller Center to respond in defense of the spruce, asking in a tweet, "Wow, you all must look great right after a two-day drive, huh? Just wait until I get my lights on!"

This year's tree was donated from Daddy Al's General Store in Oneonta, which is located approximately 170 miles northwest of the city. Measuring 75 feet tall, the spruce is 45 feet wide and weighs 11 tons. Speaking to CNN affiliate WCBS, Paula Dick, who owns the general store, expressed hope that the tree will offer a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy year.

"A lot of people need a lot of hope this year because of COVID-19, and we were more than honored to donate it. And hopefully, we bring some joy into some people's lives this season," she said. "I didn't realize that a tree that was in my yard just not too long ago would bring joy to so many people."

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The tree was brought to NYC via police escort on Saturday and lifted via crane into place. The tree proved to be full of plenty of surprises, as a worker who helped transport and secure the tree discovered a tiny owl hiding in the branches. The Saw-whet, the smallest variety of owl in the Northeast, hadn't eaten or drunk in days and is currently being cared for at the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center. The center plans to release the owl on facility grounds in the upstate town of Saugerties once it has recovered.

As for the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, a lighting ceremony will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 2. Unlike years past, however, there will be no public access to the event due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. People will be able to watch the ceremony from home on NBC.