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BRIEF: What should I do about my Holly bushes?


QUESTION:
I have two holly bushes they have the spiked leaves and berries growing on them. I have read that the berries are poisonous. If I cut both bushes back it would kill them. I want to stop the kids in the neighborhood from getting to the berries without killing the bushes. Can you please advise me.

ANSWER:

Holly berries can cause vomitting and diarrhea if enough are eaten. Fortunately, they are so bitter and nasty tasting that only the smallest children are likely to try more than one. If you inform the parents and kids that the berries are nasty tasting and can make kids feel sick, that might do the trick. Or a little sign that says they are pretty, but poison. Or you could trim off the flowers . If holly berries were as toxic as castor beans (one can kill a child under certain circumstances), then I would be all for pulling them out or cutting off the flowers to prevent berry formation. A little education might be sufficient in your case.