American Holly

Ilex opaca

Growzone: 5-9

As Low As $56.95
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This Plants Growzone: 5-9
Growing Zone: 6-9
Mature Height: 15 to 20 feet
Mature Width: 10 to 12 feet
Sunlight: Full Sun to part shade
Foliage Color: Dark Green
Growth Form: Upright pyramidal
Soil Conditions: Very tolerant of most soil conditions

American Holly Trees for Sale Online


This pyramidal tree keeps its vibrant fruit through the winter when the red of the berries contrasts against the green foliage and is a striking specimen all year.

  • One of the easiest growing hollies.
  • Great for privacy hedges or a mixed border.
  • Deer resistant.
  • Foliage can be used for Christmas and Holiday decorations.

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Full Description

The pride of native hollies, this very deer resistant holly has been overshadowed in recent years by more advertised cultivars, although the popularity of the plant remains strong. This pyramidal tree keeps its vibrant fruit through the winter when the red of the berries contrasts against the green foliage and is a striking specimen all year. This Native Holly, provides winter interest, easy to grow, adaptable to many soil types.


Planting Information

Never plant American Holly deeper than originally planted in the pot. As a rule we always say that before you mulch you should still be able to see the soil from the original pot. Planting to deep can cause rotting of the stem and death to the tree. American Holly are moderately drought tolerant, however they grow very slow without adequate water. Staking young trees is recommended to minimize the stress on the stem from winds blowing the tree. When tying trees to stakes remember the tree will continue to grow. Loosely tie the tree with several twist ties to allow for growth. Check trees every three months and loosen as needed. If this is not done, the twist tie will grow into the tree causing injury. A Pro tip that we can offer is to use a short length of old garden hose and run the tie wire through the hose. this will protect the trunk of the tree from being damaged by the tie wire. The one question that comes up often when talking to customers is "when is the best time to plant."? For the most part, container trees can be planted year around, provided the ground isn't frozen. Below Virginia many nurseries and Christmas tree growers field plant year around, weather permitting. When planting a potted tree, remember the only water source the tree has, is its small root ball, and all the water the tree uses must come from them until new roots can grow into the surrounding soil. New trees should be watered twice weekly (Minimum), under hot drier conditions possibly more. Care should be taken not to over water. More trees die from over watering than under.


Frequently Asked questions

How do I fertilize American Holly Trees?

What soil should I use for American Holly trees?

How do I shear American Holly Trees?


Customer Reviews

Additional Information

Use American Holly as a Privacy Screen:

The ever popular American Holly is hardy to Zone 6. It is a pyramidal tree, which can reach up to 20 feet tall and up to 15 feet wide at the base which makes it good for tall screen. Give American Holly trees ample room, to allow for symmetry of growth. It grows well in a variety of soils, but prefers good drainage. The American Holly tree is great if you need to create privacy for your home. It's a medium growing tree growing around 1 to 2 feet per year where its happy. We recommend planting American Holly in a line with about 5 feet apart from each other to create quick privacy, however they can be planted at 10 to 12 foot intervals if you don't mind waiting a bit for privacy. When planting alone the tree takes on a pyramidal shape and can be grown as a specimen tree to break sight-lines. Double row plantings of American Holly are a great way to not only create privacy but to reduce noise from a busy roadway adjacent to your property for example. American Holly trees also make a wonderful backdrop for planting beds the pleasing evergreen dark color makes flowering plants really standout especially in the winter when it has its bright red berries.

American Holly as a formal hedge:

The American Holly is widely used as a quick growing formal hedge. Plant 4 to 8 feet apart, depending upon your desired results. Trim when needed but we do suggest waiting until after the initial flush of soft spring growth however it can be pruned in late winter before the onset of new growth. If it is pruned every year, American Holly will create a formal dark-green evergreen screen or box-shaped hedge, similar to a Yew hedge. American Holly can be kept to any height as long as you trim it once or twice a year.

Use American Holly to add vertical elements to the garden:

American Holly can also be planted in clusters in corners of the garden or to hide smaller permanent fixtures in the garden such as well caps or utility boxes. Clusters can be used at the ends of shrub borders or even in the middle to bring symmetry or vertical elements into the garden. Shrub borders tend to be a uniform in height but by adding clusters of larger evergreen trees you bring variations in height as well as a sense of permanence to the garden.

Insect problems with American Holly Trees:

Nellie Stevens Holly normally have only a few insects that cause any real problems. Scale is an insect that attacks Nellie Stevens Holly, they look like little crusty flakes covering the stems and branches. Scale feed on sap causing a chlorosis (yellow) look to the leaves. The most difficult insect to control on Nellie Stevens Holly is Spider Mites. These are very small insects that can be seen with a magnifying glass. Feeding on the sap causes leaves to turn yellow and later brown. Spidermites have become resistant to most of the old chemicals. We recommend using only true miticides for control.