A question about Holly

Happy New Year and here’s a festive question.  Each year my holly tree has loads of berries in November but either none or very few left by Christmas.  Why is this?  Traditionally holly is renowned as a Christmas plant as referenced in the carol “The Holly and the Ivy”.

Here’s a photo I took on 23rd November.  Lots of red berries.

Holly in November

Holly in November

And here is another photo of the same tree taken a month later on Christmas Eve, when I was cutting some holly and pine to make a table decoration.  Hardly any berries left.

Holly on Christmas Eve

Holly on Christmas Eve

But at least enough to give some colour to my festive table decoration.  Simple to make and an attractive centre-piece for the table.

Christmas table decoration

Christmas table decoration


5 thoughts on “A question about Holly

  1. Patricia Walker

    Have you a lot of birds where you live? Birds eat holly berries along with other berries such as hawthorn and elderberries. One of those odd tidbits of information that get passed down through generations is that the earlier and heavier a bush berries is an indicator of the winter ahead…early and heavy meaning long, cold and hard


    1. mumjd Post author

      I think you’re right about the birds. Only 1 berry has dropped off indoors in over a week. And I noticed the displays at church didn’t have any berries on their holly at all, but they had also used hawthorn which did have loads of berries.



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