Santa Cruz County has a wide assortment of tree species grown and some great examples located in public spaces. Trees are covered like a field guide. Walking and Driving tree tours are listed on the right. I am looking for the best trees in the county. Looking for help? Find a great specimen? Let me know.
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Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Olmediella betschleriana - Guatemalan Holly tree
The Guatemalan Holly tree is an evergreen tree 25-35' tall generally upright or with a spreading habit but always dense, and if unpruned with a low canopy, but this one was pruned up because it sits on the driveway. Reportedly makes a great hedge.
The flowers are what really caught my eye. Plants are dioecious, these are the males.
Leaves alternate, simple, ovate to oblong, 3-5" long, narrowly or broadly, dark green, leathery, thick and glossy with holly-like margins. Slower growing stem present leaves without the holly like margins and are more round. New growth in the spring is red or bronze.
Maybe hard to see in this picture because the fruit is green, but they are large, up to 3" round but flattened like a biscuit. Eventually turning black on the ground, but are green at maturity.
Looks like a holly, but with really funny holly flowers…