Nothing says Christmastime like the scent of a fresh-cut evergreen tree wafting through your apartment. In Manhattan, options for buying a real Christmas tree abound—if you just know where to look. Here's everything you need to know about getting your Christmas tree home for the holidays in NYC (including details on that Manhattan must: delivery service!):
Since the 1850s, NYC has been the setting for pop-up tree lots, which seemingly crop up on just about every other corner during the holiday season, between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
These makeshift displays, featuring imported evergreens from tree farms as far away as Canada, can appear overnight on street corners, in front of shops, or even out of the backs of trucks. There's no standard pricing in place from lot to lot, so your best bet is to be prepared for a little customary haggling and to do some comparison shopping at a few vendors set within walking distance of home (you'll have to keep your eyes peeled, since there's no fixed directory of vendor locations). Just don't wander too far: Keep in mind that the further you end up from home, the further you'll have to schlep your tree back, since many of these no-frills vendors don't have a delivery option in place.
SoHo Trees has been providing Manhattanites with quality Christmas trees for more than 30 years; they have eight locations throughout Manhattan, and also offer online purchasing, free delivery, and optional professional decoration services.
Or, try sustainability-minded NYC Trees—tree purchases, which include delivery, installation, and a tree stand, can be made online, or in person at their 2016 location in the Gansevoort Market (in the Meatpacking District). Additionally, Whole Foods Market usually sells Fraser Firs (with an option for delivery) at its NYC locations (call ahead to confirm availability).
These days, there's very little you can't buy with just a click of a button, and that includes Christmas trees. Enjoy the convenience of picking out your tree online, and having it delivered straight to your front door. For local online retailers, look to Manhattan-based Tyler's Trees (your tree stand, tree skirt, delivery, and set-up are all included in the rate)—my tree delivery with them last year was a breeze, with cheerful delivery guys and one of the best-looking trees I've ever had. Brooklyn-based Christmas Tree Brooklyn is another option (they offer free shipping to Manhattan); or, try the Bronx-based Egan Acres Tree Farm for fresh-cut Nova Scotia Balsam Firs delivered straight to your door.
For national operations, try established tree sellers like Green Valley Christmas Trees, Mountain Star Farms, or The Rocks Estate. Alternatively, look to big box retailers like Home Depot, touting free shipping (though note they don't sell real trees on-site at their Manhattan locations).