The tree in the corner of Patricia Whitlock’s Brookhaven property is coming full circle.

She bought the tree for the Christmas of 2005 — the first year in the family’s new house — before planting it in the side yard. 

Now at 20 feet tall, the spruce is pushing into a fence and casting a shadow over the vegetable garden.

“It would have hurt my feelings to cut it down,” she said. “But it’s too big for the space.”

So she’s donating it Bellport Village.

There, it will go back to what man intended it for: a Christmas tree.

“We just wanted it to find a good home,” Whitlock said. “If Bellport didn’t want it, we were going to contact Patchogue, but Patchogue would need a cut tree.”

She penned a letter to Bellport Village Hall in October asking if the village was interested in transplanting her tree — not even realizing the village happened to be in need of a Christmas tree.

She was informed last week that her tree was chosen from among two that were offered. 

It will be planted between Village Hall and the Bellport Community Center in time for the village’s annual lighting ceremony.

The ceremony kicks off at 6 p.m. on Dec. 5 on the green at Bell Street and Bellport Lane.

“It’s great,” said Bellport Mayor Ray Fell. “I’m just thrilled that people in the community think about the village and would offer this type of gift to the village. And the timing was perfect, because we had a tree that we used as a Christmas tree, but it died. Last year we didn’t have a tree at all.”

Before the previous tree on Bell Street died, the village had lit a tree behind the gazebo on the green, but that tree grew so big they ended up having to leave the lights on year-round, the mayor said.

“It got to a point where you couldn’t get the lights out of the tree, because it was so high,” he said. “So they would stay in there all summer and you lit them and hoped they would go back on the following year. For a few years we left them and it worked” until the weather took its toll. And last year the village lit two shrubs.

The current tree will be consistently pruned, Fell said, so its size remains under control. It’s costing the village about $500 to get the tree uprooted from Brookhaven and transplanted in Bellport.

“This is the best of all worlds,” Fell said. “Hopefully the village will have this tree for 20 years.”


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Top photo: Patricia Whitlock outside her Brookhaven Hamlet home Wednesday. (Michael White)

Pavlos Stephanides, then 17, with the tree in January 2006.

Pavlos Stephanides, then 17, with the tree in January 2006.

tree inside

Patricia Whitlock bought the tree from Crane Landscaping in Brookhaven in 2005. (courtesy photos)

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