Crews Seen Adding Extra Branches to Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree After It Was Mocked Online

The 2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is getting a sprucing up!

On Thursday afternoon, days after the famed tree arrived in New York City looking a little less than lush and was met with critiques from online commenters, spectators in the Big Apple noticed that it appeared to be getting some extra filler branches added to it.

An onlooker at the scene told PEOPLE that a crew member working on adding the coniferous extensions to the tree said that it was "normal" to do so. The passerby noted that the new branches seemed to be wrapped with thick rope, though it's unclear for what purpose.

Crews are currently setting the tree up at the famed plaza in Midtown Manhattan ahead of the Dec. 2 tree lighting ceremony, where musical guests and famous faces will help kick off the holiday season.

Earlier in the day, the tree was notably receiving some less than positive feedback, as many deemed the iconic Christmas piece as disastrous as the rest of this past year.

"This tree looks like 2020," one commenter wrote on Rockefeller Center's official Instagram post. Another added, "Ya'll really got a tree that defines 2020." Elsewhere, someone wrote, "This tree looks like it was dragged behind a truck by a chain, then through a fire and extinguished with sewer water."

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After taking some heat, the 75-foot-tall spruce's guardians responded to its haters: "Wow, you all must look great right after a two-day drive, huh?" the Rockefeller Center Instagram account wrote back, adding, "Just wait until I get my lights on!"

The tree spent two days wrapped up on a truck making the journey from its home in Oneonta, New York.

This year's tree was donated from Daddy Al's General Store in Oneonta, about 170 miles northwest of the city. Paula Dick, who owns the general store, told CNN affiliate WCBS that she hopes the tree can be a bright spot amid the tumultuous 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."

Per Rockefeller Center's website, as a health and safety precaution, there will be "no public access to this year’s tree lighting ceremony, however, everyone is invited to view the live national broadcast Christmas in Rockefeller Center from home on NBC."

Staff will be spending the next few weeks decorating the tree with thousands of lights and holiday ornaments, according to CNN, before it finally makes its debut at the tree lighting ceremony in early December.

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