Gravesend man turns tree-loving hobby into a business
A Brooklyn man turned his love for trees into his livelihood.
From the outside, Paul Graviano's house looks like any other house on McDonald Avenue. But behind the metal gate is something far from ordinary.
It looks like a plant nursery -- but it's technically a forest. The trees are manipulated and grown to be miniature bonsai trees.
Graviano says he fell in love with bonsai in 1964 and quit his job in 1976 to grow bonsai full time.
"I was an insurance agent and I left my job to start a business in 1976 and this was my sole source of income since then," Graviano said.
He used to have a storefront in Gravesend, but now, approaching his 77th birthday, he says his business is almost exclusively online.
He buys commercial nursery trees and trims and manipulates them into beautiful displays of nature.
"It fascinated me when I was 21 years old and 55 years later, it fascinates me today as much as it did then," Graviano said.
Graviano says all the trees in his nursery are special and he has dozens of species available. But there are some trees, his favorites, that he says aren't for sale.