Boughs & Other Cuttings

Boughs

Fir BoughsSome of our evergreen conifer trees are used for bough collection. Species that are common and can be harvested from in a sustainable manner may be made available for collection.

Douglas-fir, Noble fir, Shasta fir, and Incense-cedar are the most commonly harvested species on the forest. Other species may also be considered for harvest.

Ecology

The leaving of lateral branches, which are stimulated to grow after harvest of boughs, promotes healthy trees and provides the opportunity to harvest the same tree several years after.

Traditional uses of the various species range from the use of dried foliage as cold remedy and decoction of leaves for cough medicine to brooms, implements, and flavorings.

Commercial uses of evergreen boughs include the use for Christmas decorations including wreaths and decorative greens; floral greens; and dried potpourri.

Collection on the Rogue River – Siskiyou

On the Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest a permit must be obtained prior to removing forest products including boughs above Incidental-Use amounts. Only terminal branches should be harvested to allow lateral branches to grow in following years. To maintain tree vigor and encourage branch re-growth following harvest, no greater than one-third of a tree’s foliage may be removed. Harvest must be made from the lower one third of the tree; climbing trees is not permitted. Boughs must be harvested only from trees greater than 15 feet tall.

Boughs commercially harvested should have good color, desirable form, symmetry, and needles should be firmly attached. Boughs selected should be clear of disease, insects, soil and broken or damaged needles. Harvest typically takes place in the fall in late September after a hard frost to ensure foliage has hardened off and continues into the first week of December.

Choosing only those leaves that you can reasonably use or sell promotes a stronger plant that will re-grow lateral branches and produce better in the future. Keeping boughs cool and out of the air during transport and storage helps keep foliage from drying.

Following low-impact /ecologically sensitive collection techniques will support sustainable management and conservation of this species and help maintain a sustainable and respected harvesting tradition.

Bough permits are typically available on all Ranger Districts. Please call the District Office where you are interested in harvesting to check for current availability before you head out to obtain a permit. Refer to our Product Price List for current permit costs.

Other Cuttings

Other CuttingsSeveral other shrub and trees species are used for collection of cuttings. Species that are common and can be harvested from in a sustainable manner may be made available for collection.

Salal, vine maple, Manzanita, Oregon grape, ceanothus, Oregon boxwood, Huckleberry, Oregon myrtle, and dogwood are some of the species typically used for plant cuttings.

Ecology

Elk, deer, and other wildlife forage on some of these species’ buds, flowers, leaves, seeds and/or berries. Several of these species are also important nectar source for bees and pollinators. Some wildlife also use the plants for cover and for nest materials. Several of the plants sprout well after fire and can be important cover in re-vegetating disturbed areas and controlling erosion.

Traditional uses cover a wide range of uses including: basket making; salmon scoop nets; berries for food, drink, or for medicinal purposes; leaves mixed for smoking; soaps and cleansers; flowers for food; and fruits and leaves for a variety of medicinal purposes.

Commercial uses range from the use of fresh or dried cuttings in floral arrangements, wreaths, and other floral decorations to the use in crafts and as spices.

Collection on the Rogue River – Siskiyou

On the Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest a permit must be obtained prior to removing forest products including plant cuttings above Incidental-Use amounts. For this product, only terminal and lateral branches may be harvested. To maintain plant health and encourage branch re-growth following harvest, no greater than one-quarter of a tree’s foliage may be removed and climbing of trees is not permitted.

Cuttings commercially harvested must be green, healthy, and free of spotting and insect damage. Choosing only those twigs that you can reasonably use or sell promotes a stronger plant that will regenerate and produce better in the future.

Following low-impact /ecologically sensitive collection techniques will support sustainable management and conservation of these species and help maintain a sustainable and respected harvesting tradition.

Cuttings permits are typically available on our Ranger Districts. Please call the District Office where you are interested in harvesting to check for current availability before you head out to obtain a permit. Refer to our Product Price List for current permit costs.

Species information on this page from:
Vance, et. al, 2001; SPECIAL FOREST PRODUCTS Species Information Guide for the Pacific Northwest; Pacific Northwest Research Station General Technical Report 513; USDA Forest Service