Islip Terrace Christmas treeIn anticipation of the annual Christmas tree lighting Dec. 12 in Islip Terrace, the East Islip Community Chamber of Commerce oversaw the installation of a 20-foot spruce Friday morning.

The $2,000 spruce replaces the long-dead tree that locals had come to call the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.

That dead tree — which was killed by a fungus, arborists told the chamber — was removed from the memorial plaza at Connetquot and Lowell avenues earlier this month. On Friday, we found workers from Quintal Contracting of Bay Shore digging 55 inches down  for the new tree.

Standing alongside them was a proud Gary Teich of Lee’s Auto Body & Glass in East Islip, the vice president of the chamber, which had raised funds for over a year for the new tree.

“It’s nice to do something like this for the community,” Teich said. “There’s a lot of good people here and they deserve to have something like this to share in. If we can make things a bit nicer maybe people will come out and use [the park]. We’ve got all these local businesses right here, too.”

Teich also said the LED lights, which cost about another $2,000, have been ordered and will be wrapped around the tree soon.

Teich’s son, Matthew Teich, an East Islip High School graduate and freshman at Suffolk County Community College who was appointed to the chamber board as a youth member two years ago, led separate fundraising efforts to purchase new LED lights for the tree.

“A lot of people were very understanding,” Matthew Teich had previously told “We had a bunch of people come up to us and say it’s a great idea and just wanted to support us. A few were ready to write a check before we had everything set up.”

Photos: Workers from Quintal Contracting planting the new spruce in Islip Terrace Friday.