Everything You Need to Know About Holiday Greens

It isn't quite the holidays without the sights and smells that make us feel as if we're on a tree-covered mountaintop.  Greens such as pine, cedar, and fir are the aromatic beauties that let us know that the holiday season has truly begun.
Holiday Greens from Pacific northwest
L-R: Underside and top of Pacific Silver Fir, Noble Fir, and Mountain Hemlock
Lucky for us, our Arcata farm is located in the Pacific Northwest where the world's old-growth redwoods and evergreens reign supreme.  Our West Coast Evergreen Division, spearheaded by our resident expert, Debbie Hartman, brings the forest to you with Seasonal, Western, and Christmas Green selections.  Debbie and her team of foragers have been working with Northwest flora for over 35 years--their knowledge, respect for the forest, and responsible foraging provides us and our customers with high-quality greens season after season.
DIY christmas wreaths swags arrangements
Christmas Greens Mixed Box

According to Debbie, "the backbone" elements of our Christmas Greens are Fir, Pine, and Cedar.  These three greens give us the signature smells and textures of Christmas, and pair nicely with other winter classics, such as juniper berry, white heather, and autumn huck. 


Firs are high-elevation greens and are very fragrant with beautifully shiny, compact needles. Three holiday favorites are Pacific Silver Fir (also known as White Fir), Noble Fir, and Douglas Fir. 

Fragrant Christmas greens Fir
From L-R: Silver Fir and Noble Fir
Pacific Silver Fir (pictured above on the left) is known for the silvery-white underbelly of its needles, and Noble Fir (pictured on the right) has blue-green needles, with a bluish underside.  Douglas Fir, below, is similar in shape to Pacific Silver and Noble, but ranges in color from light to dark green.  All are very popular Christmas branches which are easy to work with and recommended for beginner and advanced floral projects.
Douglas Fir for wreaths, boughs, and swags
Douglas Fir


Mountain Hemlock, one of our most exciting offerings this year, is found in the high elevations of the Northwest.  Mountain Hemlock is blue-green in hue and prized for its long, shapely boughs which work well in elegant holiday arrangements such as wreaths, garlands, swags, and centerpieces.  Once exposed to warmth, the needles spread out and separate, providing a nice, full appearance.  It holds it shape well, lasts for weeks, and looks fantastic on a mantelpiece! Its shape and colors contrast especially well with Silver and Noble Fir, as seen in the first photo of this blog.
Mountain Hemlock Christmas arrangements
Mountain Hemlock boughs
Princess Pine (also known as “Western White Pine) is another high elevation pine.   As you can see in the photo below, it has lovely long, blue-green needles and a soft texture.   Pictured to its right is a favorite of the San Francisco Flower Market, Shore Pine, aptly named for its low-elevation setting near the ocean shore.  It features dark green needles on branches which are sometimes dotted with small pine cones.
Pine for holiday arrangements
L-R: Princess Pine and Shore Pine


Port Orford Cedar Holiday wreathsPort Orford Cedar is a versatile holiday green with lovely long stems and flat, lacy foliage.  While its filigree tips give it a delicate appearance, it is quite hardy, maintaining its color and vitality for weeks and weeks. 

Specialty Greens

Two hot items this year are our Incense Cedar (also known as Yellow Bloom Cedar) and Berry Juniper. I love the colorful gold tips and blue berries on these branches.  They both have great focal texture and punch when combined with other greens.

Greens for holiday decorations
It can be difficult to find nicely yellow-bloomed incense cedar during heavily coned seasons, such as this year.  However, the experience and hard work of our team of foragers paid off as they found a great supply of densely bloomed cedar.  We are thankful for the additional pop of color this product brings to our Christmas greens assortment.

Yellow Bloom on Incense Cedar

Seasonal and Western Greens
Christmas Greens Heather and Blue Prince Holly
L-R: White Heather and Blue Prince Holly
Heather is here and we will have it for Christmas and beyond!  Heather has needle-like green foliage with clusters of tiny white and pink flowers.  Heather works well as a soft filler in arrangements, providing a delicate and ethereal look.  Also available now is our Willow Creek-grown Ilex M (aka Blue Prince Holly), a beautiful dark blue-green branch with serrated edges and incredible lasting ability.

Want more greens? Check out our other seasonal and western greens, including fragrant California bay leaf, red-tipped European holly, spiral-shaped autumn huck, lush salal, and lengthy beargrass and ponytails, which can bring depth, color, or height to any kind of holiday arrangement.  Many of these are available in Pacific Northwest Greenery mixed consumer bunches.

Mixed Seasonal Greens
Seasonal Greens Mixed Bunch
Greens are known for their lasting ability, but to keep them in their best-looking condition, be sure to store them in their boxes in cold temperatures before using them.  Once you’ve made your wreath or arrangement, keep it looking fresh by using a spray bottle to mist it with water. Evergreens absorb water through their needles, and misting will keep them looking lively and fresh.

Christmas Wreath mixed greens
Wreath made from mixed greens

Right now we are filling the wonderful world of wholesale with our holiday greens, and now is the time to buy! This winter season, bring the smell and look of the Pacific Northwest forest home with you.

Sun Valley's Lady Aster