It was a hard year to be a tree in New Jersey; those amazing storms took down so many of the really big guys. Before the storms, there were lush forests with trees that had stood witness to George Washington’s campaign for freedom; now the landscape is littered with massive stumps and fallen giants, sullenly awaiting the buzz-saw.
We have a holly tree. She proudly stands taller than our house and has always provided us with beautiful Christmas greenery. Her boughs have decorated our hearth for more than 50 years. Those shiny green leaves adorned with the bright red berries have brought joy and Christmas spirit to our home for three generations.
Did you know that holly trees have ‘genders’? Yep, there are both ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ holly trees.* …and the little ‘girl’ trees need little ‘boy’ trees to make potential ‘baby’ trees (uh-huh, that’s what those bright and cheerful red berries really are — potential ‘baby’ holly trees). If there is only one holly tree in the general vicinity, you will never get any red berries, so your will have to settle for simply GREEN for your Christmas colors that year.
So, are you wondering how our holly tree fared? Whether she withstood the wrath of the weather gods and is still proudly standing at the corner of our home? …or whether she lost her mate and is now a widow and unable to produce all those cheerful red berries?
It would have been a very sad story if she was a casualty of the summer storms — she is such a proud and tall tree. I would also have mourned if she was no longer able to produce her berries — her boughs are so beautiful, adorned with those cheery red berries.
See for yourself how she fared….
…note to self: say a special ‘thank you’ to weather gods for sparing Mr. and Mrs. Holly Tree….