TODAY'S PAPER

New York City Christmas tree buying guide

Figure out what tree best suits you, and where you can buy it in NYC. / Tara Conry

The holiday season has officially kicked off in New York City, which means it's time to start thinking about your very own Christmas tree.

But you’ll need one that suits your style, your budget and your living space. We rounded up tree sellers, from Park Slope to East Harlem, to create this handy guide for finding your perfect tree in the city -- and getting it home without making a spectacle on the subway.

What’s your Christmas tree style?

advertisement

The heavy ornament hanger

If you’re all about the fancy (i.e. heavy) ornaments, then your tree will need sturdy branches.

You’ll want to go with a Fraser fir, which most tree sellers carry, or the less common Canaan firs. The latter has thicker branches but this species is harder to find. 

The studio apartment dweller

“It all starts with getting the right tree for your space,” said Mary Jeanne Packer, executive director of the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York. Packer said people too often make the mistake of buying a tree that’s too big for their home because it looks good in the lot. “A small tree is still a lovely tree,” she added.

At Urban Garden Center in East Harlem, Dimitri Gatanas sells "Charlie Brown" Christmas trees. The "tabletop trees," measuring between 1.5 and 3 feet high, come with a small stand and a single ornament on them. They're priced around $30, and bonus: You can easily bring them on the subway. 

Greg Walsh, owner of Greg's Trees, also carries tabletop trees in the 3-to-4-foot range at his six tree stands, which are located in Williamsburg, Park Slope, Astoria, College Point, Fresh Meadows and Essex Street on the Lower East Side.

advertisement

The fragrance fanatic

If filling your home with the smell of fresh evergreen is a top priority then the Balsam fir is your best bet. These fuller trees are the most potent, according to Packer, but their branches aren’t as strong as Fraser firs.

Many sellers in the city carry Balsams. At Urban Garden Center in East Harlem, average prices range from $55 to $70 for Balsams between 5 and 7 feet tall. 

The tree keeper

If you intend on keeping your tree up long past Dec. 25 -- just think, in February, you can decorate it with hearts for Valentine’s Day -- then you’ll need a species that scores high marks for needle retention. The experts recommend Fraser firs and also the less common Concolor species. "I’ve seen Frasers that are brown and still have their needles," Packer added.

The longevity comes at a price. The Frasers at Urban Garden Center are about $10 more than Balsams of the same size, with average prices for a 6-to-7-foot Fraser ranging from $55 to $85.

The proud New Yorker

advertisement

When you purchase a locally grown tree, they tend to be fresher, according to Packer, since they are harvested just a few days before they arrive in the city. Plus, buying a New York tree helps to sustain the state’s agriculture, support the economy and preserve open spaces, she added.

If “Made in New York” matters to you, there are some stands in the city that carry trees grown by upstate farmers. Gatanas said a portion of the Fraser firs he sells at his family’s East Harlem business were grown in New York. 

Where to buy it and how to get it home

From pop-up sidewalk shops and garden centers to your local bodega, it’s not hard to find someone hawking trees during the holiday season. Here’s a list of some -- but certainly not all -- tree sellers. Some even offer delivery and set-up, and accept phone and online orders.

MANHATTAN

Urban Garden Center: 1640 Park Ave., East Harlem. Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, starting Dec. 1. For an extra fee -- about $25 depending on the tree's size and where you live -- they’ll deliver and set it up for you. Prices range from $30 for a 3-foot Balsam to $300 for a 13-foot Balsam. Every Saturday and Sunday, there’s a wreath-making workshop and a raffle for a free tree. Online ordering at urbangardennyc.com. Trees available: Fraser firs, Balsam firs.

Greg’s Trees: 120 Essex St., Lower East Side. Open 24/7. Tree packages start at $79 for a 4-to-6-foot tree that comes with a small stand, one box of Christmas lights, free delivery and set-up to a "Jumbo" tree (8 feet or taller) with a large tree stand, two boxes of lights, tree preserve, and free delivery and set-up. The Essex Street location has bicycle delivery service. Order by phone: 917-734-3963. Trees available: Balsam, Fraser,  Noble, and Nordmann firs. More info at gregstrees.com.

NYC Trees: 605 10th Ave., Hell’s Kitchen. Open 24/7. Online orders at nyctrees.com include delivery, installation, stand and skirt. Price ranges from $109 for a 5-foot Fraser to $999 for a 15-foot Fraser. Trees available: Fraser firs. 

SoHo Trees: Seven Manhattan locations, including East 68th Street and First Avenue; West 78th Street and Columbus Avenue; East 36th Street and Second Avenue; Essex and Hester streets; Hudson and Clarkson streets; Chambers and West streets; and Varick and Canal streets. Open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Prices range from $129.95 for a 4- to 5-foot Fraser to $239.95 for a 7- to 8-foot Fraser, which includes a tree stand, delivery and installation. Order online at sohotrees.com. Trees available: Fraser firs, Noble firs, Canadian Balsams, Grand firs and Nordmann firs.

BROOKLYN

Greg’s Trees: 555 7th Ave., Park Slope; 776 Lorimer St., Williamsburg. Open 24/7. Delivery and set-up available for an additional fee -- around $10-$20 on average. Prices range from $99 for a 4-foot Balsam to $499 for a 12-foot Balsam. The Williamsburg location has bicycle delivery service. Order by phone: 917-734-3963. Trees available: Silver, Fraser, Balsam, Noble, Nordmann and Grand firs. More info at gregstrees.com.

Lowe’s: 118 2nd Ave., Gowanus. Open 6 a.m.-midnight on weekdays and 8 a.m.-10 p.m. on weekends. Online ordering at lowes.com. Trees start at $29.98 and there is an additional fee for delivery. Trees available: Balsam, Douglas, Fraser and Nobel firs.

QUEENS

Greg’s Trees: Cunningham Park at 196 Union Turnpike, Fresh Meadows; 132-12 14th Ave., College Point; Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden at 29-19 24th Ave., Astoria. Open 24/7. Prices range from $119 for a 5-foot Fraser to $499 for a 12-foot Fraser. Home delivery is available. Order by phone: 917-734-3963. Trees available: Silver, Fraser, Balsam, Noble, Nordmann and Grand firs. More info at gregstrees.com.

BRONX

Uptown Xmas Trees, from Gopher Broke Farm: 5555 Broadway, Bronx. Open 24/7. Prices range from $40 for a 4-foot Balsam to $80 for an 8-foot Balsam. Delivery fees range from $10 to $20. Trees available: Douglas, Balsam and Fraser firs. 

STATEN ISLAND

Home Depot: 545 Targee St., Park Hill; 2501 Forest Ave., Mariner's Harbor. Open 6 a.m.-10 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sunday. Prices range from $19 for a 5-to 6-foot tree to $79 for a 8-foot tree. Online ordering with free delivery at homedepot.com. Trees available: Douglas, Fraser and Balsam firs. 

ONLINE ONLY

Tyler’s Trees: The site has six packages to choose from starting at $119 for a 5-foot Fraser fir and up to $369 for a 9-foot Fraser. Complimentary delivery, installation, a plastic tree stand and tree skirt are included in the prices. More info at tylerstrees.com.

Green Valley Christmas Trees: The site, greenvalleychristmastrees.com, has Fraser, Noble, Balsam and Nordmann firs. The price ranges from a 4-footer for $69 to a 9-footer for $369.The last day to order trees is Dec. 12.