Rockefeller tree to come from Sandy-battered town

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This 2006 AP photo shows a crane lifting the Christmas tree into place in front of the skating rink, Rockefeller Center, New York City.

This 2006 AP photo shows a crane lifting the Christmas tree into place in front of the skating rink, Rockefeller Center, New York City.

MOUNT OLIVE, N.J. (AP) – The New Jersey man who is donating the Christmas tree to New York’s Rockefeller Center spent a nervous night during Superstorm Sandy.

Joe Balku says he learned four weeks ago that the 80-foot Norway spruce had been chosen for the honor. Then Sandy hit two weeks later.

Balku says he watched the tree, which weighs 10 tons and is 50 feet in diameter, as it swayed in the backyard of his Mount Olive property. Balku says it had been bundled for protection.

He lost two other trees and just got electricity back over the weekend.

The tree will be loaded on a flatbed truck and erected at Rockefeller Center on Wednesday. Workers will string 45,000 lights on the branches.

The 80th Christmas tree lighting will take place on Nov. 28.

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