We moved into a house this summer. There are a lot of evergreens on the north side of the house. One of them, we don’t know which, is dropping massive amounts of pea-sized, very dark purple berries of some sort all over our patio. You have to be careful not to step on them as they smash into messy purple that travels on our shoes into the house and also make a mess of our patio stones. Can you help us identify which evergreen does this in the fall? We are looking at the trees and can’t find which one is doing it. We would like to get rid of it.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Corinne: Congratulations on your new home! There are only a couple of evergreens I can think of that would produce purple berries. Both juniper and taxus are possibilities although they typically do not drop their berries, and juniper would not be happy on the north side of your home since it is a sun lover. Is it possible that there is a deciduous tree mixed in with the evergreens that is making this mess? Mulberry trees can be weedy and very messy in terms of their berries. Boston ivy also produces purple berries that can be very messy. If you could send me a picture of the berries I can give you a definitive answer. You can send the pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org
. Another option is to take a sample of the berries to your Cooperative Extension Service. The Summit County offices are located at 2525 State Road, Suite 250 in Cuyahoga Falls. The phone number is (330) 928-4769 or you can visit their Web site at http://summit.osu.edu.