Also Known As:
Holly, American Holly / Ilex opaca
Where It's From:
Eastern United States
Why It's Special:
Holly is typically used only for ornamental and decorative purposes. It has a fairly large shrinkage rate, with a lot of seasonal movement in service, and its strength properties are mediocre for a hardwood.
How It Works:
Can be difficult to work on account of the numerous knots and interlocked grain. Glues, stains, and finishes well, and is sometimes stained black as a substitute for Ebony. Turns well on the lathe.
Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable or perishable, and susceptible to insect attack.
Ideal lumber has a very uniform, pale white color with virtually no visible grain pattern. Knots are common, which can reduce the usable area of the wood. Can develop a bluish/gray fungal stain if not dried rapidly after cutting. Holly is usually cut during the winter and kiln dried shortly thereafter to preserve the white color of the wood.
Inlays, furniture, piano keys (dyed black), broom and brush handles, turned objects, and other small novelty items.