nellie stevens holly

salbwil(Ma.)September 1, 2008

I'm thinking of planting this and was wondering if anyone in this area( coastal Ma ) has one .

Thanks for any information.


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runktrun(z7a MA)

Myself having not one two or three 'Nellie Stevens' Ilex but five that I have attempted to grow in a coastal community, in good conscience I feel the need to try and convince you not to make this investment. I have been trying to grow 'Nellie Stevens' under New England coastal conditions for a minimum of twelve years, and regardless of the general susceptibility of this species towards insect infestation in our environment, 'Nellie Stevens' just gets beat up during coastal winters. To really emphasize this point I will mention that one of my nurseries after the harsh winter of (2004/05?) stopped selling 'Nellie Stevens' and stated over all community devastation as the reason, when I mentioned this to other coastal nurseries they all admitted that yes 'Nellie Stevens is winter hearty along the New England coast but that she is not the best ilex choice. Should you decide to consider an alternative Ilex I would be happy to share what has done well for me? kt

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 6:49PM
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Thank you, runktrun,
And yes, please do share what has done well for you.
I need to fill a space where A large Norway spruce is now. We have to remove this and will hopefully plant in the spring. I am hoping to find something fast growing, hence my choice of the "Nellie Stevens" holly. I am very open to suggestions.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 9:10AM
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runktrun(z7a MA)

I didn't know 'Nellie Stevens' was being marketed as fast growing...interesting but not necessarily what I have experienced. Usually when people are looking for a fast growing tree it is because they are attempting to screen something from their view is that the case? What size are at maturity are you looking for and how much sun/shade does this spot get? Is this location dry or damp? Are you in a windy location? kt

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 9:44AM
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Hi runktrun,
The area is next to our house, bordering a neighbor's yard. The exposure is a sheltered North, Northwest, getting very small amounts of morning sun, and late afternoon sun.It is on ledge, but the spruce has done very well, growing almost to 40 ft. in 25 years. I planted it when it was only 3 ft. tall. There is a crabapple (wild, not cultivated ) behind it by 10 feet, but as I said, this never bothered the spruce. I am across the street from a sheltered cove, but the house would shield the tree.
I want fast growing as I'd like to fill in the area to match the rest of our mature landscape. very open to suggestions, as I stated above.
Thanks, salbwil

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 9:17PM
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runktrun(z7a MA)

It sounds like you have a good location for an Ilex and although I donÂt want to discourage you it should be said that for the most part they are not considered a fast growing tree. American Holly Ilex opaca are native in my neck of the woods and likely yours as well, I have noted mine tend to have fewer insect problems than many other types of Ilex and tolerate the hardship of winter without snow cover and high winds. You might consider " Ilex opaca ÂMiss HelenÂ"
or " Ilex opaca ÂSatyr HillÂ"
Keep in mind selective pruning (not sheering) at the end of March will promote thickness while keeping a natural form. Ilex aquipernyi ÂRock Garden has done very well for me with no winter or insect damage after ten years, for this reason I would suggest Ilex aquipernyi ÂDragon LadyÂ"
or " Ilex aquipernyi ÂSan JoseÂ" Ilex meserveae has proved to be a strong grower again with little susceptibility to insect damage, great darker leaf color and tolerates drier soil. I think " Ilex x meserveae ÂBlue StallionÂ"
might meet your size requirement. " Ilex koehneana ÂJule Brite or ÂWirt L WinnÂ" are hard to find but well worth the search with large elegant leaves on a tidy formal tree. Please consider that these are just a few choices of Ilex that might be suitable for your spot so if none of the above fit the bill there are many other choices, best of luck. kt

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 7:55AM
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Hello runktrun,
Sorry for the delay in thanking you........I think the "Satyr Hill" or "Miss Helen" sound like what I'm looking for; I appreciate your help. Can you suggest where I may find either of these? They are not listed in either Corliss or Northeast Nurseries plant lists. I can travel some distance, but don't want to risk injury to the tree. We have a truck. All this is planning ahead for the Spring, of course.
Thanks again,

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 4:30PM
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runktrun(z7a MA)

I am afraid I am not the person to ask when it comes to where to shop I have little to no experience with most New England nurseries. I would suggest you go to the independent nursery that you frequent most often and speak to the manager/owner (not the young help) and tell them about your project. Let them know the varieties youÂre considering, the size of plant youÂre looking for and your price range. Tell them you want this included in their first spring shippment and to call you when it comes in...frankly ask about delivery...would there be a charge..wink, wink. You may find in this instance that youÂre paying $5.00 more than you would if you had bought it from a bigger chain but frankly developing a long term relationship with your local nursery is in my mind as important as the long term relationship you have or desire to have with a dentist. Who among us would go to the box store equivalent for a dentist to care for their teeth? Oops a little ranting and raving about box stores just slipped out. kt

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 5:06PM
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runktrun(z7a MA)

Or you could of course give Weston Nursery a call the link from either I. 'Satyr Hill' or 'Miss Helen' provides directions and contact info. If you have a truck you should be all set, I would just suggest bringing a tarp to cover the tree and protect it from the drying wind caused by highway driving. kt

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 6:27AM
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rockman50(6b SEMASS)

I am located on the south coast of Mass, and I have been growing Nellie Stevens for almost 10 years. One of my specimens was in an open area, fully exposed to NW winds and late winter sun. And it struggled after some of those very harsh winters a few years back, even with wilt-pruf applied. After that horrible 2003-2004 season, I pulled it out. My other Nellie Stevens is tucked up against the north side of the house, protected from winter sun. It seems to be doing just fine. And I have never had insect problems.

All that being said, I would not recommend it except in a sheltered location in the warmest coastal areas of far SE Mass. With those special conditions, I have seen huge specimens on the Cape and south coast. I know Sylvan's in Westport MA still sells them. I purchased one many years ago from a nursery located in the interior of SE Mass. They told me it was grown in Maine! What a joke. He was either lying or he was misinformed. I have huge American Holly trees growing wild in the woods on my property. But our local nurseries don't stock this type of holly very much at all. But they should.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 10:08AM
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Thank you to all of you ; your information is much appreciated. I will indeed call Weston Nursery and ask whether they will carry either of the suggested hollies in the Spring, and if so, I will order one.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 8:33PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

You might want to check this fall to see if they not only have one, but might have sale prices. :-)

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 5:06AM
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I have just taken down a 30 ft. plus Nellie Stevens Holly tree. It broke my heart but I planted it too close to the garage about 25 years ago and it had to go. I am about a mile from the north shore of Buzzards Bay with prevaioling SW winds. It was planted in full sun on the south side of a building and the only problem I ever had with it was one borer in the main trunk and keeping it properly pruned. Several years ago, I planted another about twenty feet away from the first but in a more shaded location. It too is very healthy but its growth is much slower in the shade. I have an eighteen inch volunteer from the original growing six feet from the original tree's trunk. I am nurturing it but being almost eighty, I doubt if I will see it get to 30 feet like its Daddy. Why in the heck do old men plant trees?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 8:51PM
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