Holly in nothwest NJ?

Hello,
My sister got married this past weekend in Richmond, VA. She picked a very nice grotto in a very mature hardwood stand. It was like a home away from home for me, because that's all that grows around here - oaks, yellow poplars, etc.
But the big difference down there were the abundant american hollies. They stuck out so nicely, with the shiny green leaves, smooth gray bark and bright red berries. They were so abundent down there I was hoping to bring some back, so I picked a couple dozen red berries and brought them home, 250 miles to the north.
I was wondering if anyone's had good luck growing hollies in northern areas. I've heard they're tolerant to zone 5 (my yard is in the 5/6 border). I was just wondering if there are any success stories. I also have a bottomland-type area where they'll be sheltered from wind and get plenty of water.
Thanks very much, Dan nw NJ
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I've had Ilex x 'Sparkleberry' (I. serrata x I. verticillata) growing in 2 Bergen County, NJ gardens for 11 years with no problems. It's the same plant, I transplanted it from one garden to the other. But it only grows about a half inch a year. HTH
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American holly (Ilex opaca) does quite well in NW NJ. Growing them from seed is another matter. In general, the seed takes a LONG time to germinate. American holly cuttings are pretty easy to root. If you want to plant a holly forrest I suggest you concentrate on rooting cuttings.
I've done both, grown from seed and cuttings, feel free to email if you want more info.
--beeky
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American Holly (Ilex opaca) is indeed a gorgeous tree that can become sizable with age. I vividly recall the Hollies in Richmond as I did my undergrad there. While it's amendable to pruning, I like to see it grow naturally into its distinctive pyramidal shape. The Cedar Waxwings *mug* these trees every fall for the berries.
You might be disappointed with growth should you get any of your collected seed to germinate-- growth is quite slow and it will be many years before you get a facsimile of a tree. Also, with opaca you need a male and a female for good fruit set.
Dave

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On Fri, 31 Oct 2003 20:38:17 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@adsfgh.com (dstvns) wrote:

35 miles NW of Philadelphia, a cold microclimate toward the zone 6/5 border, they do fine. They don't appear to be very fussy, though they're not particularly fast growing.
DaveT
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