God’s Acre gets a new Christmas tree – New Canaan Advertiser
Thanks to the Gress and Covino families — and with help from the Department of Public Works — as of Tuesday, May 6, there’s a new addition to the trees on God’s Acre in New Canaan.
The fir tree there that the town decorates and carolers gather around on Christmas Eve isn’t quite looking the part these days, resident Scott Gress and his family noticed, since it doesn’t have much of a Christmas-tree shape and its lower branches are thinning out significantly. And, having lost trees to Hurricane Sandy, they worried that a similar storm could knock that caroling tree down.
Meanwhile, for several years, the Gresses have been asking attendees of an annual Christmas soirée they put on to bring donations to pool and use for charitable causes, in lieu of anyone bringing hostess gifts. So the family decided it was befitting to use that money to add another Christmas tree option on God’s Acre — one more centrally located, too, on the triangular parcel of land.
As the idea worked its way through the proper channels, the Gresses discussed it with Suzi and Michael Covino, who owned Frogtown Nurseries here in town, and Michael’s brother Robert, who owns another tree nursery, Hardscrabble Farms of North Salem, N.Y. For a very special price due to the purpose of this tree, they sourced out a shapely fir about 17 feet tall that was then purchased with funds from the Gress family and friends. Another Covino brother, Ken, drove the tree on its three-hour trip to New Canaan.
“It all just came together,” Michael Covino told the Advertiser.
New Canaan Highway Department personnel, including Jimmy Peck, Duke Courte, Tony Zallo, Nick Boccuzzi, and Mario Socci, helped get the new tree in the ground at God’s Acre, with Zallo and Courte on the heavy equipment controls.
The maneuver hasn’t been without hiccups. The tree couldn’t be transplanted last fall as originally planned due to the quick change to winter. Its roots apparently are only about 18 inches long, noted Tree Warden Bruce Pauley, who said he’d have liked to see deeper, wider-radiused roots balled off in the tree’s burlap sacking.
So it’s possible this new fir will not survive — it should be obvious by about July if it won’t, Pauley said, if the tree is turning brown — and if that’s the case, it’ll be replaced. But then again, maybe this tree will do fine.
“It’s on God’s Acre,” Pauley said, “so if it’s got any chance at all, this would be the place.”