All About Holly: Holly Trees

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All About Holly

By Sharon
November 30, 2011

It was a mystery. All my friends could decorate their homes with holly for Christmas but I was never allowed to cut its branches. It was years before I could understand the magic of the holly tree.

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Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Nov 29, 2011 6:28 PM CST
Your trees are much bigger than ours. They grow everywhere down here but I've never cut them for decoration at Christmas either.

I don't think I ever saw one until we moved here and the fact they are evergreen was a plus for us coming from OH.

Sometimes they get their red berries in the winter but sometimes not. I wonder why?

Lots of interesting info there - thank you.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Nov 29, 2011 6:33 PM CST
Only the female hollies will produce red berries, though I think both male and female bloom. Not sure about that, but I know one of mine produces berries and the other doesn't. I don't think I've ever noticed whether or not they both bloom. The blooms on the one in the back are very tiny and in small clusters. The berries are pretty small too.

Thanks Vic.
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Name: Charleen
Barnesville, Ga. Zone 7b-8 (Zone 8a)
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Ridesredmule
Nov 29, 2011 6:39 PM CST
I have one in my front yard. The lantanas just about make it disappear but I have pruned it. Usually in the spring.
It is a pretty plant. We also have hollies come up in the woods. I just let them grow however I haven't really seen any Large trees, not here but I have seen small ornamental trees in town....
Wonderful article an as always a learning adventure.
thank you Sharon...
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Nov 29, 2011 7:03 PM CST
Thanks Charleen.
The one in my back yard has lots of room to grow, no other trees around to shade it. The one in front isn't growing as quickly or as tall, but then it doesn't have as much room or as much light around it. I don't know for sure, but that might make a difference.
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Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 29, 2011 7:10 PM CST
I believe hollies prefer full sun. And there are numerous varieties of holly trees as well as bushes.

So Sharon, you got your holly tree in your yard after all. And not one but two, so that you can look out front & see one & look out back & see one. They are a gift. But I'm sure you already know that. Perhaps Aunt Bett & Granny Ninna each sent you one once they got to heaven & found out holly trees have nothing to do with evil or the devil at all. Yes, that's what I think happened.

InJoy!
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Nov 29, 2011 7:11 PM CST
I think you are probably right, Anni!!
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Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 29, 2011 7:12 PM CST
Thumbs up
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 29, 2011 7:31 PM CST
Sharon said:Only the female hollies will produce red berries, though I think both male and female bloom. Not sure about that, but I know one of mine produces berries and the other doesn't. I don't think I've ever noticed whether or not they both bloom. The blooms on the one in the back are very tiny and in small clusters. The berries are pretty small too.


From Wikipedia re: American Holly Tree (Ilex opaca)

Like all hollies, it is dioecious, with separate male and female plants; only female plants produce the characteristic red berries. One male can pollenize several females.

And Vic, that's likely why sometimes you see lots of berries & sometimes not. Doubtless, the male or males may not be profusely blooming from one year to the next, thus less pollination of the females which would result in fewer berries.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Nov 30, 2011 3:44 AM CST
Mom loved holly and so do I. A male and a female holly bush were among the first things I planted when we moved here. Smiling
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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Nov 30, 2011 8:58 AM CST
Great story. I did not know about the medicinal properties of the holly. We have two, gifted by the birds. Hope they continue to protect our house from lightning!
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Nov 30, 2011 11:22 AM CST
Good for you, Tee. We have matching hollies!!

Bubbles, read that last line in the article and don't be mixing up a batch of holly tea!! Promise??
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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Nov 30, 2011 2:06 PM CST
Oh I read it, but figure that was for everyone else who doesn't like to push the envelope!
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Nov 30, 2011 2:13 PM CST
Only you, Bubbles, only you. Green Grin!
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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Nov 30, 2011 5:11 PM CST
Whistling
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
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RickCorey
Nov 30, 2011 8:34 PM CST
>> sometimes you see lots of berries & sometimes not.

I have one very tall shrub that I keep pruning back: some years it has tons of red or red-orange berries and some years few. I never thoguht it might be a holly. I'll take a picture and ask for an ID.

If she is Holly, I wonder what neighbor, how far away, has a male Holly? Not me!

But I do have a tiny plant that has leaves that I think shout "Holly" and it might be male. I only noticed it 3 years ago, and it might be 16-18" tall now. It's growing on a slope of thick, solid, dense clay. I'll be loosening the soil around and below it to improve drainage.

Does anyone know how old or how tall a male Holly has to be before it can produce pollen? I've never seen anything that looks like a bloom on this little guy - just gloassy leaves with thorns on the tips.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 30, 2011 8:37 PM CST
Rick:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holly

You can start there.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Nov 30, 2011 8:49 PM CST
Rick, both of mine were about 3 feet tall before they started to produce anything.
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Nov 30, 2011 9:03 PM CST
I believe it. The tall female may not be a holly, or maybe some nearby neighbor does have a male.

The Wiki article mainly told me that there are a bazillion species. I'll try to get an ID on both ... if I recall, the leaves were rather different even though the tall babe was very scratchy.

The short one's leaves looked just like "European Holly" or classic Christmas Holly.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Nov 30, 2011 9:12 PM CST
I don't know what grows out your way, Rick, so you might have a multitude of species there. In fact, I don't know a lot about any of them except this one in the article. Every one I've ever been close enough to touch has grown in the wild here in KY.

But if you find out what you think you have, let me know, please. I love hollies, I just haven't studied or noticed any others.
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Name: Linda Cartwright
Del Rio, Texas
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taters55
Dec 1, 2011 7:54 AM CST
Great article Sharon! I had no idea they got that big! Here in Texas they are bushes, I have never seen one more than 4 or 5 foot tall!
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