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How to Keep Holiday Evergreens Fresh

When buying evergreens, fresh is best. Make sure they look bright green and that there's not a lot of needle loss.

Good Evergreens for Cutting
  • Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris)
  • White pine (P. strobus)
  • Balsam fir (Abies balsamea)
  • Fraser fir (A. fraser)
  • Noble fir (A. procera)
  • White fir (A. concolor)
  • Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)
  • Boxwood (Buxus)
  • If you receive a wreath or other evergreens by mail, unpack them immediately.
  • Mist the evergreens with water; repeat every week or so.
  • Evergreens will deteriorate more rapidly in warm temperatures. Try to display them in a cool place. Indoor displays should be away from heat sources and direct sunlight.
  • Holly is more fragile than other evergreens. The leaves will discolor if exposed to very warm or cold temperatures. The ideal temperature range is 32 to 60 degrees F.
  • If you're cutting your own fresh evergreens, be sure to wait until after frost, or at least until cool weather has arrived.
  • Choose evergreens that are known to last a long time. See Good Evergreens for Cutting, at right.
  • Save cuttings that have a short vase life for arrangements that only need to look good for a few days. For instance, blue spruce (Pinus pungens 'Glauca') is especially beautiful, but it drops needles within a short time.