Trees

Holly, American Ilex opaca

Can be pruned as an attractive hedge, or reaches 40' - 50' as a tree. Leaves stay green year round. Plant 4 or more to cross pollinate to get red, berry-like fruit. (zones 5-9)

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Zones 5 - 9
Zones 5 - 9

Hardiness Zones: Zones 5 - 9
The American Holly can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the arborday.org zone map. VIEW MAP

Evergreen
Evergreen

Type of tree:
The American Holly falls into the following type(s): Evergreens, Ornamental Trees

40' - 50' High
40' - 50' High

Mature Height:
The American Holly grows to be 40' - 50' feet in height.

18' - 40' Spread
18' - 40' Spread

Mature Spread:
The American Holly has a spread of about 18' - 40' at full maturity.

Slow to Medium Growth
Slow to Medium Growth

Growth Rate:
This tree grows at a slow to medium growth rate. [More about this.]

Full Sun
Full Sun

Sun:
This holly does well in full sun, partial shade.

Various Soils
Various Soils

Soil:
The American Holly grows in acidic, drought tolerant, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well drained, wide range, clay soils.

Pyramidal Shape
Pyramidal Shape

Shape:
This holly has pyramidal shape.

More Info
More Info

Attributes:
The American Holly tree is a well-formed and very handsome specimen that can also serve as a hedge or barrier. Another nice attribute is its adaptability in semi-shade locations, often being successfully planted underneath the canopies of larger shade trees.

Description:
Can be pruned as an attractive hedge, or reaches 40' - 50' as a tree. Leaves stay green year round. Plant 4 or more to cross pollinate to get red, berry-like fruit. (zones 5-9)

Wildlife Value:
The foliage of the American Holly provides cover for songbirds and mammals and its fruit is used extensively by bluebirds and thrashers.

History/Lore/Use:
The American Holly tree has been popular since the beginning of American history, having served the Native Americans with wood for many different applications and berries that were used for buttons and barter. It was said to be a favorite of George Washington, and more than a dozen Hollies planted by him are still in evidence today. It is also widely known as the basic raw material for Christmas wreaths. The first scientific observation of the American Holly tree was recorded in 1744.

Moisture:
Normal moisture requirement, though it tolerates some flooding and has good drought tolerance.

Leaves:
The leaves are 2 to 4 inches long, leathery, green all year and sharply tipped on the margins.

Flower Color:
Whitish-green; pleasant fragrance; attractive to bees.

Bloom Time:
May-early June.

Fruit Description:
The red, berry-like fruit is popular with a variety of birds.