Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Senior Horticultural Interpreter.
With her lustrous leaves and plentiful crop of bright red berries, our Nellie R. Stevens holly looks very handsome this winter.
She stands proudly beside the Kerlin Overlook.
Many broadleaved evergreens can suffer foliage damage in a bad winter. The leaves can take on a dried appearance—not surprising, since this damage is caused by lack of moisture. Green leaves will photosynthesize whenever the sun is shining, and photosynthesis requires water. When the ground is frozen, no more water is available to the tree. Strong sunlight and drying winds all add to this problem.
Fortunately, many hollies, like this one, have a waxy coating on their leaves and this helps to retain enough moisture to keep them looking healthy in all but the worst conditions.