Is it acceptable to use fresh corn stalks to cover a sukkah in lieu of cedar, spruce or pine boughs?


It's nice to hear that you're being creative about your sukkah building!

The sukkah can be covered with anything provided that:

a. it grew from the ground and has been detached, and

b. it is not edible, and

c. it was not manufactured to be a utensil (such as a wooden ladder or shovel handle).

[Thick, roof-like slats, and tied bundles of foliage are also invalid for use as a sukkah covering.]

The sukkah covering must provide enough cover so that when the sun is shining overhead there is more shade than sun in the sukkah. Many types of leaves dry out and shrivel after sitting for a few days, thus making the sukkah invalid.1 For this reason pine boughs (or evergreens or bamboo poles) became popular, as they do not shrivel.

Corn stalks meet all these requirements, so, by all means, make a corn stalk-covered sukkah! (Just make sure that the corn ears are empty—as we mentioned, food is invalid for sukkah covering.)

Click here for more information on sukkah-building.

With wishes for a sweet, new year,

Rabbi Eliezer Posner