Holly (Photo: Laurie Campbell)
Holly is an evergreen, keeping its leaves throughout the year. For this reason it is particularly attractive to deer that browse on its leaves in the Winter when there are few other green plants available. It has developed some protection against browsing animals through its spiky leaves but like the other tree species it is only found on steep crags that sheep and deer cannot reach. Some trees have both male and female parts but Holly exists as separate male and female trees with only the female trees producing berries. Holly is an important woodland tree providing shelter for birds throughout the year and food in the way of berries in the late autumn. However, it is slow growing, only producing berries after 20 years of age.
by Robin Reid