Rockefeller Christmas tree cut down, on its way to Manhattan

Tree from Florida, New York

FLORIDA, New York (CNN) - The Christmas tree that will light up Rockefeller Center this holiday met its end -- in the spirit of the season, of course.

A tree-cutting crew arrived at Carol Schultz's home in village of Florida, New York, early Thursday morning to saw into her winning 77-foot Norway spruce. The sacrificial tree is already headed to its Manhattan pedestal.

A small crowd of local schoolchildren and beaming neighbors cheered as workers sawed into the base of the tree, held upright by a crane, and gasped as it lowered at an angle onto the bed of a truck, where it'll rest during the journey to 30 Rock.

Like any proud mom, Schultz recorded the process of her beloved tree's shining moment. She'll still miss the behemoth in her yard.

"I'm so excited and sad at the same time," she told CNN affiliate Spectrum News Hudson Valley, rocking a pair of Christmas-tree-shaped sunglasses. "It's like part of me -- the tree is part of me."

This is only one of several steps to get the spruce to the tree-lighting ceremony. The unadorned tree will debut in Rockefeller Center on Saturday, but staff take nearly a month to get it gussied up for the holiday.

Finally, on December 4, the fully festive tree will glow for the first time, flanked by famous musicians and the Radio City Rockettes in the televised tradition.

At the end of its run in Rockefeller Center, the tree is gifted Habitat for Humanity, which uses the tree for lumber to build homes.

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