By Tammy Sons
The American Holly also known as white holly or Christmas holly is the state tree of Delaware and is a plant native to the United States. It can be found along the coast running from Massachusetts to central Florida and west to southeastern Missouri and eastern Texas. This tree can grow between ten and twenty meters tall and the trunk diameter is usually between fifty and one hundred and twenty centimeters. The leaves are a yellow green color, and stay on the tree for two to three years and fall off in the spring when the buds push them off. The flowers are a greenish white and bloom in the late spring and grow in April in the southern part and in June in the northern parts. The fruit grown on the tree is a small red drupe, even though they are poisonous to humans, they are important in the survival of birds. They ripen from September through December. The wood is pale and though and is used to engrave blocks and for cabinet work. The sap from the trees is watery and contains a bitter essence. It is also used around holidays like Christmas because it is used as a decoration. The American Holly can survive of a variety of soils from the sandy beaches to the mountains. They grow best on moist slightly acid, well-drained sites. They can survive floods but the bark is easily injured by fire. The oldest holly was one hundred and forty four years old.