Live Cut Foliage And Berries For Home Holiday Decorations

Wreath of Southern Magnolia et al.

Wreath of Southern Magnolia et al.

Many conifers make great cuts for indoor and outdoor Christmas decorations. Foliage choices: Eastern red cedar and many other junipers, white pine, Norway spruce, Colorado spruce, Balsam fir, Canadian hemlock, Arizona cypress (and cultivars ‘Carolina Sapphire’ and ‘Blue Ice’),  and False cypresses (C. pisifera). Needle retention varies among species. For example, Norway spruce and balsam fir often start shedding their needles within three weeks after they are pruned from the tree.

Wreath of Evergreen Boughs, Dried Hydrangea Flower and Willow

Wreath of Evergreen Boughs, Dried Hydrangea Flower and Willow

Additional foliage choices: English ivy (Hedera helix), heath (Erica), heather (Calluna), Sweetbox (Sarcococca), Southern magnolia (M. grandifolia), sweetbay magnolia (M. virginiana), Schlip laurel (Prunus laurocerasus), Alexandrian Laurel (Danae), Rhododendron, Mountain laurel (Kalmia), daphne, bayberry (Myrica), Anise shrub (Illicium), Leatherleaf mahonia (Mahonia bealei), Boxwood (Buxus), Distylium, and numerous of evergreen hollies (Ilex) including American holly,  ‘Nellie R. Stevens’ and ‘Foster’ hollies to create beautiful holiday outdoor displays and table arrangements.

Include on this list Unique deciduous cut stems such as Contorted willow, Contorted filbert (Harry Lauder’s Walking stick), Contorted mulberry (Morus bombycis ‘Unyru’) and M. alba ‘Nuclear Blast’).

Cut dried flowers from various hydrangea species (Hydrangea spp.) and plumes from several grass species.

Showy Fruits and Seeds: Cones from evergreen trees and brightly colored fruits from shrubbery such as  Crabapple (Malus), Viburnums, Cotoneasters, Beautyberry (Callicarpa spp.), and Hollies, both evergreen and deciduous forms.

Don’t forget to purchase some tools and accessories: sharp cutting shears, spools of wire and cord, ribbons

Where to purchase greenery cuts:

  • local Christmas tree farms and city sales lots
  • on-line sources are plentiful; start shopping for greenery and accessories in early November rather than later.
  • many local greenhouses and garden centers offer a good choice of greenery and accessories
  • local holly and evergreen nurseries (note: often they are noted listed on line. Check with your local Extension office for a list)
Garland of Greenery at Biltmore Estates, Asheville, NC

Garland of Greenery at Biltmore Estates, Asheville, NC

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