Foster Holly

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by wattsup, Mar 6, 2002.

  1. wattsup

    wattsup LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    I have planted hundreds of Foster Holly trees. To my knowledge, I have only had two die. I replaced them with new Foster Holly's before the homeowner complained. However, today the homeowner telephoned and said I was an idiot and refund all of their money for the job. She said everyone knows you must plant a female and a male Foster side by side or they will surely die. I have heard this about some plants/trees, but never any type of holly. Does anyone have a definitive answer to this. Also, the builder payed for the landscaping. He also gave me an extra $500.00 to puchase bigger and better plants (bigger/better than normal), and she wants her money back!
  2. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    The lack of a co-ed existance will not sentence your Foster Hollies to death. (Didn't you get this lecture when you were a teen?) In general, hollies are dioecious which means that some hollies have male flowers and some have female flowers and to have a nice berry production, you need a male plant to pollinate the females. Having a healthy shrub is dependent upon environmental and cultural conditions---not the proximity of the opposite sex plant. And no, I didn't interview any hollies to get an opinion on this! If this lady needs concrete proof, take a copy of Dirr's Guide to Woody Landscape Plants. She could also ask the extension agent in your area. It will give the agent a good laugh. Also, doesn't your warranty state the conditions of replacement?

    She almost has enough knowledge to be dangerous.
  3. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    lanelle, there's 1 problem i just like up Ilex x attenuata 'Fosteri'(this should be underlined) in the dir book and it doesn't say that there should be i male for every 7 females to get nice juicey red fruits( with seeds in the middle). so he really can't show her the dir book. i sent him an email telling him to go to alta and type in the latin name and it will give him the information he needs to show his customer in writing or yes he could have her call the extensionist in his area. i'll see if i can find it in alta vista.

    ok i found it foster #2 is the female & foster #4 is the male. so if this lady wants fruits, you will need a foster # 4 for every 7 of foster # 2 s.

    but that isn't the point expalin to this customer that the hollies will not die, because of her crazy idea. if she doesn't believe you have her call her extensionist and have him or her explain it to her.
  4. wattsup

    wattsup LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    Thank you very much for all of your help.
  5. KerryB

    KerryB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 661

    The only reason to have a male with females is the production of berries.
    I have never had a Foster die from lonleyness.
    Just lack of water lol
  6. Russo

    Russo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    I have seen many a Foster lose all of it's leaves just days after planting and then put new growth on just days after that!!! Something about transplant shock with these things related to the time that they are dug. ******I certainly don't think that your customer would care to wait and find out**** but I've asked clients to give them a week or two before I replace them and they've almost always come back. Maybe you can stick 'em in the greenhouse and bring them back to use later on another job so it's not a total loss.

    Also, same stuff about berries goes for China Holly, Needlpoint, Burford and others.

    Good Luck, Landscraper
  7. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    but doesnt the male have to present only within a certain distance to polinate the females? i thought it was like 100 feet or something?

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