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Re: Ilex opaca


Marge and Kitty, there was a piece in Dig It! magazine last month about an
interesting stand of I. opaca.  I can't access it for you, since there is a
new
month's issue and I can't find a site for archives.  I excerpted it for my
Horizon
Line newsletter, so I will send on a bit of that:

According to reporter Mary Jasch, the largest forest of Ilex opaca (American
Holly) on the East Coast is in the Gateway National Recreation Area on Sandy
Hook, the northernmost spit of land in New Jersey at the western entrance to
the New York Harbor with Staten Island to the east.  This seems an improbable
spot for a large stand of this plant that appears on New York Statebs
Protected
Plant List.  Credit for this phenomenon is given to the US Army!...
  Lou Venuto, spokesman for the National Recreation Area, says bThe
peninsula
began being purchased by the Army in 1829.  Soon after, all 1600 acres were
in protected hands.  The Army was the first one to close it off and keep
people
out of the holly forest b itbs for the same reasons we have kept the
beaches
undeveloped. Early on it was just locals looking for wood.  They stopped
that, and, later on, taking holly for Christmas decorations was restricted to
the
officers.b
   Protection is also provided for endangered species like piping plovers and
ospreys.
  The trees, some of which are approaching 200 years old, only grow to about
30 feet tall.  It is explained that they donbt get taller because they are
sheared off by salt-water-laden winds.  The parts of the trees behind the
dunes
are protected but the salt water kills the leaves at a higher level.  Also,
the
trees grow in an infertile sandy environment. Inland hollies in ideal
situations may grow up to 70 feet.  With limited nutrients, these trees only
grow
about an inch in 10 years b wouldnbt that qualify them as dwarf or
miniature?



In a message dated 02/20/2005 6:17:09 AM Eastern Standard Time,
mtalt@hort.net writes:
From: kmrsy@comcast.net
>
> Speaking of hollies....Has anyone grown Ilex opaca, american Holly
north
> of Zone 6? I'm supposed to find one for the display gardens, but
we're
> in Z5, and all my references say 6. anyone?

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