Create Beautiful Holiday Decorations With Evergreen Boughs

Freshly-cut evergreen boughs add an inexpensive and wonderful splash of color and breath-taking fragrance for holiday evergreen bough decorations

And there’s no need to purchase greens that were cut weeks ago when you likely have evergreens already growing in your landscape.

Some of the best evergreen trees and shrubs for holiday decorations are:

  • holly
  • hemlock
  • juniper
  • white pine
  • blue spruce
  • laurel
  • boxwood

Pruning Evergreen Boughs for Your Holiday Decorations

pruning fresh evergreen branches for holidays


When cutting evergreen stems, it’s important to make proper pruning cuts to ensure healthy new growth on your trees and shrubs next spring. Depending on how the stem grows, make your pruning cut as a 45- or 90-degree angle (see the image above).

Be sure to use sharp pruning sheers; this will help make cleaner pruning cuts that will heal properly and minimize points for insect and disease entry in the spring.

Designing With Evergreen Boughs


Group the various greens you’ve pruned and trim up their lengths.

Remember the rule of thirds or threes (or odd numbers) in creating your design – an odd number of stems generally look better than an even number.

evergreen in window boxes

Mixed evergreens in window boxes for holiday decorations


Use a mix of evergreens to add depth, dimension and texture.

Keeping Your Holiday Decorations Freshholiday evergreens in window box

Spraying your greens with Wilt-Pruf, an anti-desiccant, will reduce water transpiration and help your holiday decorations stay fresh longer. Be sure to spray them outdoors and let them dry before bringing them indoors.


Then add highlights of fruit, pinecones, winterberry holly, red twig dogwood stems, golden cypress, or variegated euonymus for additional color and interest.


Southern magnolia stems, whose leaves are a shiny dark green on the top and a furry, russet color on the underside, are another beautiful evergreen to consider using.


Holiday decorations can be elegantly simple.


Consider incorporating whimsical focal points and finishing touches that give it your own personal touch and flavor. Whatever your style or preference, formal or natural, have fun with it!

After the Holidaysholiday evergreen mantel decorating

You can continue to enjoy your arrangements through much of the winter by removing any bows, holiday lights or ornaments after the holidays. Once your winter arrangements are completely spent, toss them into the compost pile or fire pit. By then, winter will be nearly over and spring bulbs will soon begin to awaken, peeking through the snow to chase away any winter blues.

All of the staff at Organic Plant Care LLC wishes you and your family a happy, healthy holiday season!

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Bill Grundmann

Bill is the owner of Organic Plant Care, LLC. He takes an integrated approach to tree care, focusing not only on the trees themselves but also on the surrounding environment, managing tree health from the "ground up" - healthy soil equals healthy plants. Bill is a New Jersey Licensed Tree Expert and NJ Approved Forester with over 35 years of experience in the tree care industry.