It was Christmas in the warm August sunshine last week as Santa Claus — played by Glen Cove auxiliary police Chief Mike DiLeo — helped inaugurate the city’s new Christmas tree farm.

The five spruce trees planted at Dennis Brian Murphy Park are being grown for future use as the city’s centerpiece Christmas trees during holiday celebrations, which currently are held downtown in Village Square.

“Glen Cove’s new tree farm underscores our commitment to sustainability, and we hope to harvest our first Christmas tree in about 15 to 20 years,” Mayor Reginald Spinello said in a statement.

Officials plan to plant five trees a year in the park for the next five years.
The five planted last week by city workers were among the 25 used in the 2015 Merry Tree Festival, in which live trees are placed along downtown streets and sponsored and decorated by local businesses and organizations. Spinello said the city currently is seeking $350-per-tree sponsorships for this year’s festival.

The other 20 trees used in the Merry Tree Festival were planted in city parks and in front of city facilities throughout Glen Cove, city spokeswoman Lisa Travatello said.

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Until the trees planted at Dennis Brian Murphy Park mature, the city will continue to use a tree donated by a resident or local organization as its centerpiece Christmas tree. Department of Public Works director Jim Byrne said in a statement that the city is looking for “a fully symmetrical tree that is approximately 25 to 30 feet tall and easily accessible for removal.”

Residents interested in donating a tree growing on their property can call the Department of Public Works at 516-676-4402. Crews will select, harvest, remove and deliver the tree for free.