By: Elizabeth Schulke
Imagine being Santa Claus for a living and bringing the joy of the holiday season to all. College Point resident Greg Walsh comes close as the owner of Greg’s Trees. Though he doesn’t deliver presents, he provides thousands of New Yorkers with Christmas trees every year and has been for the past 35 years.
He began this adventure when he noticed the diminishing holiday tradition of searching for a tree of your own. While the magic seemed to be fading, he decided to create a holiday center in his hometown to bring back the memorable experience.
Now every year, Greg’s elves transform parks and beer gardens across Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan into vibrant winter wonderlands with a myriad of animated lights and decorations including hand-painted holiday character cutouts, wreath-making stations, and a giant sleigh will make you feel as if you’re in the North Pole.
The jolly spirit of Christmas comes with a lot of responsibility, and Greg ensures that his Christmas trees are fresh and gorgeous by working closely with growers in Quebec, Blue Ridge Mountains and the Pacific Northwest.
When picking the best tree for your home, Greg Walsh offers a few tips. “You definitely want it to have some weight to it. If it’s too light, the tree doesn’t have enough moisture in it. You also don’t want the needles falling off, so make sure to rub the branch and see if they come off in your hand,” he said. “The thing that customers should also look for is if the trunk is straight. Make sure it’s a nice shape, no knots, no tilting, a nice clean straight trunk, which is the sign of a premium tree. You want a well-balanced tree that smells good and has a nice crown on top. Finally, you want one that fits the space you’re in and you should let the tree sit at least for 24 hours before decorating to open up the tree, because if you immediately decorate it the wires tangle on the branches and weigh it down. And one last thing, make sure the stand is full of water the first couple of days, and after about 4 or 5 days you can keep refilling the water as needed,” he continued.
If you’re wanting to add holiday joy to your home, Greg’s Trees can be found in Astoria at Bohemian Hall, at the Old Essex Street Market and ABC Playground on the Lower East Side, Washington Market Park in Tribeca, and in Brooklyn at Greenwood Beer Garden, McCarren Park and Ten Hope in Williamsburg and at The Springs in Greenpoint.
For more information visit www.gregstrees.com