Bittersweet is harvested for the ornamental berries, either in the immature green state as well as at the mature stage when the fruits are bright orange. When the fruits are immature and green the small leaves will still be attached. Berries should be attached firmly and will last very well once hydrated properly and stabilized. In late fall the Bittersweet the beige calyces surrounding the berries will crack to expose the bright orange fruits. In this stage the stems are defoliated, and the berries are also prone to dropping off. This is normal as long it is not too excessive. Endeavor to handle carefully until fully hydrated at which time the stable product can be handle a little more brusquely. Stems should be cut cleanly and crisply (please do not smash the stems) and place immediately into water. The fruits should be hydrated in a low sugar holding solution and preferably should be processed in the cooler, and held at very low temperatures as they are autumn fruiting crops.