How to Increase berry yield for deciduous hollies

Asked May 16, 2019, 4:12 PM EDT

I am chair of our condo's landscape committee, and am wondering if there is anything we can do to increase the number of red berries that develop in our group of 13 deciduous holly small trees. (Berries do develop, but not enough to see them from several feet away; otherwise the trees seem healthy) They were planted years ago, so I'm not sure what variety, but have heard the name, "Sparkleberry" used. There is one small male plant that was planted close to the group of females. There is another group of the hollies that seem to be the same trees at the administration bldg.(we're in Leisure World), These trees develop lots of red berries in winter. The major difference seems that they get more sun during the non winter months. Would more fertilizing of our trees help? Would planting another male plant.? thanks for any suggestions. - Photo 8018 - shows group of small trees with male at end Photo 8220 - female leaves Photo 8219 - male leaves

Montgomery County Maryland shrubs holly winterberry holly normal growth winterberry holly not fruiting well

1 Response

A few possibilities:

1. Not the best male pollinator. This can make all the difference. If you can't determine the variety of winterberry females, just try a couple other male pollinators. Two common ones are Jim Dandy and Southern Gentleman.

2. Poor pollination because of insecticide use. Be sure these plants never get sprayed.

3. Poor weather conditions that discourage pollination, such as cold and rain (it would be colder and wetting in a shady spot than a sunny one.) We've certainly had those conditions for 2 years. Also,late freezes, etc.
You could try doing a soil test to see if something is way off. Search 'soil testing' on our website.

Ellen