CLOSTER, N.J. — A Closter Christmas tree seller is permitted to set up shop at Closter Commons for the holiday season.
“I’ve been in the business for a total of 40 years. I’ve learned a lot,” said Evergreen East owner Ron Miller.
The Cresskill native is still awaiting the final amount for the temporary permit for his second annual tree sale in the parking lot of the shopping area, where he has about 400 trees available through Christmas Eve.
He found that it was a lucrative business in Manhattan, where he worked with a partner and sold over 5,000 trees a season.
"Trees there sell for twice as much. Most people here buy before the holiday, but up in Nyack, they buy until the last day."
Now, he splits his time between a spot in West Nyack, NY near Palisades Center, and Closter, where anything from three to 14-foot trees are readily displayed.
Metropolitan Farms filed a complaint with the borough about the sale. But Miller claims he checked with various departments to obtain clearance and make sure there was no ordinance that would roadblock his intentions.
Metropolitan Farms declined to comment by press deadline without an attorney.
Now, a number of Bergen Catholic and Northern Valley Regional Demarest high school students and graduates work at the stand. He included members from his track team at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Tenafly, where he has served as a coach for the past 21 years.
His son and one of his two daughters help out on occasion, selling Balsam and Frasier Furs as well as Spruce trees for roughly $10 per foot.
Now he is just waiting to hear back from borough council, after a committee discusses fees and how it may consider future sales.
“Typically, like in Englewood, where I used to sell, the fee is like $50 so I’m just waiting for them to call me in about it.”