Saturday, November 27, 2010

Today we talk about Holly Wood..the wood..

I have been reading and researching the wood that comes from the Holly tree for this wood information installment, and it has been really interesting! I  learned alot that i did not know.

The wood Industry has long prized Holly wood for its very white color ,tight graining and  fabulous sandability. It takes stain well and is used as a substitute for ebony when stained black. It is classically used as the white side of chess pieces when carved, and ebony as the other side. It is also used as a substitute for ivory on piano keys when needed. Faberge made cases for his famously beautiful enameled eggs out of holly!

Holly has over 600 species of plant and only the largest growing is used in the lumber industry. It is Ilex Opaca. Mostly the holly tree or bush is prized for its leaves and berries and thier beauty and properties. Especially in the winter, the holly leaves and berries are used as decorations. The berries are a very important food for birds.
Holly trees are grown all over the world where the climate and soil are right for them. THey are often grown in stands of soft maples and harvested with them. They grow all along the east coast of the us and are grown for thier foliage mostly, and the lumber is used from the trees that are large enough to get boards from. The wood must be harvested after the sap stops flowing , or the color of it will not be white, but become blue,grey or green from spalting.

WE have been searching for some more spalted holly for our hairforks but it is going to be tough to find since this is regarded as a ruined piece of holly lumber.

Other properties and information for the holly wood I found here . It has been regarded as a powerful protective wood, good against evil spirits, poisons,angry elementals and lightning ( i thought that was very interesting!) It is also associated with dream magick and fertility.

I hope you enjoyed this installment of our wood series and if you have any questions please feel free to ask!


  1. In the pagan tradition, the Holly King and the Oak King rule over parts of the year (death and rebirth.) Holly is thought to be good for helping to deal with grief.

    I love this series you're doing!

  2. Thanks for the extra info! i read something about that but i didn't quite understand it enough to include it! I am so glad someone is enjoying this! LOL...don't know what i am doing next...?

  3. I love that you guys are doing an information series on woods!

    I saw a call for suggestions in your other post, and if you're still looking for woods to write about, I'd like to nominate mahogany. Or maybe ebony. Or maybe cardinal wood, or birch... :)

  4. Lignum Vitae! It's the wood that made Merlin's staff and it's called the Tree of Life.

    The Bible says:
    "It is a tree of life to those taking hold of it, and those keeping fast hold of it are to be called happy."

    In Proverbs 15:4 the tree of life is associated with calmness: "The calmness of the tongue is a tree of life, but distortion in it means a breaking down in the spirit." In all there are six references to the tree of life in the standard 66 book canon, the two not otherwise mentioned here being Proverbs 11:30 and Proverbs 13:12.

    In Norse paganism, lignum vitae is also called "The World Tree" upon which the underworld, earth and the heavens balance. Its name is Yggdrasil.

  5. Wow Jessica, you just did a whole post for me! :D thanks , i didn't realize there were that many refernces in the bible...another area to include in the tree studies :D

  6. I am really enjoying the expansion of my wood knowledge thanks to you and Stacy!