Nothing says holidays like the fresh smell of evergreen boughs.
And evergreen boughs can make great decor when you’re decking your halls to maximize your holiday spirit. Decorating with live greenery always adds a touch of elevated elegance during this festive time of year.
While evergreen boughs are available for purchase, you can also follow sustainable tree harvesting methods at home to boost your season’s greetings.
Evergreen boughs provide incredible texture and greenery and you can decorate them to match your color scheme or use them to add a touch of holiday magic to your home. You can even give them to friends and family as presents. Tis the season for nature holiday gifts!
As you explore this idea, you might be asking yourself, “What are sustainable harvesting practices?” and “How long does greenery last without water?”
Let’s talk about seasonal wreaths and proper ways to harvest evergreen boughs, so you can get the benefits of this joyful holiday edition and jingle all the way through the season.
Evergreen Bough Characteristics
Why do we use evergreen boughs? Decorating with seasonal wreaths is a big part of preparing for the holidays.
People traditionally use evergreen boughs to make wreaths, swags, garlands, centerpieces, and other decor to celebrate the winter solstice and holiday season.
In fact, you can make Christmas wreaths from eastern and western red cedars, pines, spruces, holly, yew, boxwood, junipers, and Douglas-fir, as well as other firs. You can even add pinecones, berries, and decorative branches like those of red twig dogwood to your designs.
Harvesting Evergreen Boughs
Now that you’re inspired to add evergreens to your season’s greetings, you want to ensure you’re following sustainable evergreen harvesting techniques.
What are sustainable harvesting methods?
The first step is to harvest your evergreen boughs after a hard frost since the tree is not actively growing and will suffer less stress through the pruning process. Evergreen needle retention is also highest on boughs if harvested at this time. Typically, sustainable evergreen harvesting can start in October and continue through December.
When cutting evergreen boughs, trim 3 to 4 feet from the tip of the branch and above a node so you don’t remove an entire branch and encourage regrowth. Use proper pruning principles at all times , which includes never leaving a stub or cutting into the branch collar. Avoid cutting more than 25% from a tree during a single pruning session.
The goal is to minimally impact your evergreen stand when trimming some boughs for holiday decor. If you have a large number of evergreens, rotate through your woodland so you don’t harvest from the same area each year. A good rotation schedule consists of harvesting evergreen boughs from each section every three to five years.
Nature’s Holiday Gifts: Seasonal Wreaths
Once you have followed sustainable evergreen harvesting to trim some boughs, remember to follow correct care tips so they can deliver long-lasting holiday magic.
You can store fresh-cut evergreen branches in a refrigerator at 37 °F (2.5 °C) or keep them in a cool dense shady area with adequate airflow, misting them with water every two days or so. Do not store them in the sun. You can also immediately place cuttings in water to allow them to absorb moisture overnight before decorating. Using anti-desiccant sprays can help keep wreaths and boughs from losing moisture.
How long does greenery last without water? They can last a few weeks to more than a month with proper care.
Decorating with live greenery can certainly help you walk through a winter wonderland in style, ensuring this holiday season is a December to remember.