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Trees (Native British)

50 51 Given space and light Holly can grow into a fine tree up to 80 tall although more often it grows as a small understorey tree and is common in hedgerows. A narrow conical tree when young, it grows more straggly with age, and the leaves become less prickly. Holly forms superb dense hedging when regularly clipped. The small flowers appear in May and develop into the familiar red berries by November, a good crop being a sign of a good summer past, not, as traditionally believed, the herald of a bad winter to come. Often spared the woodmans axe for fear of bad luck, it will tolerate hard pruning with the regenerated shoots making excellent horse whips. It was often used for winter fodder in hard times. Holly wood is dense and white and often used in small pieces for carving, inlays and woodcuts. Holly burns fantastically, even when green. HOlly Ilex aquifolium
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