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Kentucky Color: Winter Beauty III

Billy Joe is spending the winter cataloguing some of the trees that keep the landscape green and beautiful while skies are grey and days are short.

By Billy Joe Fudge

I know we are all enamored by the beauty of American Holly. There is proof in the sense that most experts proclaim that it is the most sought after natural green for Winter and holiday decorations. One thing we must address is that before planting American Holly one should realize that the species is dioecious; meaning that there are boy and girl trees. The beautiful and desirable red fruit is found only on the girl trees.


As of yet, there is really no way, practically speaking, to tell the sex of a tree until it begins to flower and they will only begin flowering around 5 or 6 years after planting. Of course it goes without saying that to have that beautiful red fruit there needs to be a male in the area.

This week's Winter Beauty is a male and the location should be fairly easy to discern.


This story was posted on 2019-02-09 06:31:45
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Kentucky Color: Winter Beauty



2019-02-01 - Columbia, KY - Photo by Billy Joe Fudge.
During the cold winter days from Christmas through February, American Holly falls into my "Winter Beauty" category. Their glossy green foliage and fire engine red berries make for fool-proof identification even from a distance.

American Holly is r-e-a-l-l-y slow growing. Because they are such slow growers they almost always are found in the understory of the forest. Even when transplanted into our urban landscapes like this one, they almost never exceed 50 feet in height.

As you can see this one is loaded with berries. Birds will eat them when their normal food sources are scarce or unavailable. When the ground is frozen and snow covered for extended periods of time, flocks of Robins will attack Holly's in a must see act of nature to completely strip even large trees like this one in a matter of hours.

Columbia has more than it's share of large Holly trees.
  1. Do you recognize this Old Friend?
  2. If so, where is it?
  3. I think it would be a great idea to catalog all the larger American Holly in Columbia, don't you?

Next: Kentucky Color: Winter Beauty II

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Kentucky Color: Winter Beauty II



2019-02-03 - Columbia, KY - Photo by Billy Joe Fudge.
Winter Beauty was identified quite quickly which I really enjoyed seeing and indeed expected. This Winter Beauty II, American Holly in it's own right, is just as beautiful but could be a little more challenging to recognize it's location.

Obviously, American Holly is an leafy evergreen as opposed to evergreens with needles.
  1. What is another leafy evergreen growing locally?
  2. Do you recognize Winter Beauty II?
  3. If so, where is it located?
Winter will soon fade away and these Winter Beauties will disappear into the Summer tapestry of Green. Let's catalog them while they are still easy to find.

Previous: Kentucky Color: Winter Beauty

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Mystery photos: Two American Holly tree locations revealed



2019-02-08 - Columbia, KY - Photo by Billy Joe Fudge.
Mr. Wells writes: Where was the tree located? So we asked Kentucky Color author/photographer Billy Joe Fudge for the answer. He revealed that while the first tree, at right, is located on the campus of Lindsey Wilson College, the second glorious American Holly tree is located in the corner of the old Alta Garnet property now owned by the Columbia Baptist Church, Greensburg Street, Columbia, pictured on February 2, 2019 on ColumbiaMagazine.com - viewed looking out toward the street. He challenged, "Obviously, these two trees are leafy evergreens as opposed to evergreens with needles. What is another leafy evergreen growing locally? Winter will soon fade away and these Winter Beauties will disappear into the Summer tapestry of Green. Let's catalog them while they are still easy to find.

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Kentucky Color: Winter Beauty III



2019-02-09 - Adair Co., KY - Photo by Billy Joe Fudge.
This week's Winter Beauty is a male and the location should be fairly easy to discern.
  1. Do you recognize Winter Beauty III?
  2. If so, where is it located?
  3. When you locate this one, there is one of those other leafy evergreens growing nearby.
  4. If you recognize that other leafy evergreen, let us know.

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