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Kentucky Color: Citizen's Park II
See also: Kentucky Color: Citizen's Park mulberry trees
By Billy Joe Fudge
At the top of the hill in Citizen's Park on the left of the driveway is this old American Holly. American holly is dioecious, meaning the male and female flowers are on separate trees. Since this old tree has no fruit, I assume it is a male.
I believe him to be well over 125 years old and he is in really bad health. His age however, is not the major contributing factor to his failing health and I am having to make several assumptions to rebuild his life story.
First, I believe he was planted in the front yard of the residence at some point soon after the house was built.
However, since American holly is very shade tolerant, it could have already been established in the forest understory when the house site was cleared to build the home. Holly will live for decades while growing very little in filtered sunlight and responds very well to direct sunlight once the forest canopy is removed or thinned.
Secondly, when the yard was not maintained the hardwood forest re-established and Mr. Holly was plunged into the shade of a canopy. His growth would have slowed because of receiving only filtered sunlight.
Thirdly, we find the major factor that has put his quality of life in such a bad state; fire! When the old house burned a few years ago, the heat killed the bark and limbs nearest the house. The heat would have been intense all around the tree and killed the ends of the limbs around the remainder of its perimeter as well.
Presently, he is slowly healing some of his wounds while suffering from heart rot and an attack by Poison ivy and Winter creeper as well. A little help in cutting these vines just above the ground by some really caring, Columbia city employees might just be the "shot in the limb" he needs to increase his quality of life during his remaining years.
This story was posted on 2023-11-11 17:01:36
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More articles from topic Kentucky Color by Billy Joe Fudge:
Kentucky Color: Flatwoods Scarlet Oak
Kentucky Color: Citizen's Park mulberry trees
Kentucky Color: Past That Lives In Us
Kentucky Color Past: Autumn Dogwoods
Kentucky Color: The Master
A couple of Ed thoughts
Kentucky Color: Grissom's Rolling Store
Kentucky Color: Summer of 1986
Kentucky Color: Divinity of Procreation
Kentucky Color: My Homeplace
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