31 JANUARY 1941, Page 11

Holly Crop

The holly is one of the features of the English countryside which always astonish foreigners; to Englishmen it is a tradi- tional tree, so that as soon as it lacks .berries it appears to some people to have failed in a national duty. A correspondent asks why there are no berries this year. The answer is quite simple. During the winters of 1938-39 and 1939-40 hollies were trees of fire; it so happened that these magnificent crops of berries coin- cided with very harsh periods of weather. This year there has been more bitter weather, but no berries; again a coincidence. For the holly, like other trees, bears flowers, but after the severe late winter of 1940 there were no flowers. During the two previous years the crop of holly-blossom--miniature nose- gays of charming, unobtrusive, creamy-pink—was very heavy. Those who wish to forecast next winter's berry-crop should, in fact, watch the holly-trees during the next two or three months.