In what has become an annual sleuthing event for me, I’ve tracked down the original location of the tree now presiding over Rockefeller Center. The 74-foot Norway Spruce grew up in Mahopac, New York and was donated by a New York City firefighter. The Rockefeller Center folks prefer to cut down a tree that is distressed or getting too large for its surroundings, and this one was getting too close to the house. After its service, the branches will be turned into mulch and donated to non-profit organizations, and lumber from the tree will be used to build a house. The New York Times checked in with the owners of trees from previous years to see how they made the decision to donate and if they had any regrets. Some reluctant families are courted with gift baskets and others offer up their tree willingly. Some plant a replacement sapling, some leave the spot empty.