Workers 'wrap' Shelton tree destined for Rockefeller Center

Like many Shelton residents, Jim Valente wanted to get a view of the Norway spruce on Kazo Drive selected as this year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. (Thursday morning photos by Brad Durrell)

So on Thursday morning, he walked over from his nearby home with a camera around his neck.

“This is a once in a lifetime thing,” said Valente, expressing the joy of living around the corner from the soon-to-be-famous tree while taking photos.

“To think we’re looking at a tree as old as this is and to know that millions of people soon will be looking at it, too — that’s pretty cool,” he said.

The tree that’s been chosen likely is in the range of 60 to 75 years old, based on the typical criteria used by Rockefeller Center officials to select a tree.

Usually a quiet road

It’s usually not that busy on Kazo Drive — a road that runs between the more traveled Isinglass Road and Huntington Turnpike/Road — but that’s changed in the past few days.

Now many people are driving or walking past the front yard with the tall tree, where a crew of workers have begun the process of “wrapping” the tree so it eventually can be transported to Manhattan to be decorated and put on display during the holiday season.

A few workers are climbing the tree and, from the top down, appear to be using rope to pull in branches so the tree will be less wide for a special truck used to pick up the chosen tree every year.

As of Thursday morning, it appears they are nearing the halfway mark on the job.

A Shelton police officer has been assigned to the property, watching over the onlookers.

Red Sox championship connection?

Former Shelton resident and Red Sox fan Jerry Kosturko noted a correlation between the selection of Rockefeller Center Christmas trees from Shelton and World Series victories by the Boston baseball team.

“This year’s tree is from Shelton. The last one from Shelton was in 2007. What’s the connection? Red Sox won the World Series in 2007 and 2013!” said Kosturko, who grew in Shelton and now lives in the upstate town of Plymouth.