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Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve

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Forests decked with “boughs of holly”

Written on: December 15th, 2011 in Blackbird Creek ReserveEducation & OutreachSt. Jones Reserve

Did you know that the American holly (Ilex opaca) is Delaware’s State tree?  The holly was adopted as the State’s tree in 1939.  This beautiful native plant is commonly used in decorations this time of year.  But, I encourage you to take a hike on one of our trails to see the beauty of the American holly as it naturally decorates our woodlands and forests.  The bright red berries and the thick green leaves provide a punch of color against the backdrop of late fall and early winter’s browner tones.   American holly trees look great planted in a landscape and the berries are a source of food for many bird species.  Enjoy a winter hike this year and explore the great outdoors!  Our trails at the St. Jones and the Blackbird Creek Reserves are open dawn until dusk 7 days a week.  And as always during this time of year, be aware that there is active hunting on portions of the Reserve (except on Sundays when there is no hunting). 

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