Foster's Holly trees planted in dense group on tree farm Foster Holly evergreen trees in rows growing on tree farm a closer look at the glossy green leaves and red berries of the foster holly Foster Holly Tree showing red berries and green foliage

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Foster Holly Tree

Ilex x attenuata 'Fosteri'

Foster Holly is a compact evergreen holly tree with bright red berries that persist through the winter. Holly trees are perfect for adding year-round interest to your landscape and ideal for growing a privacy tree or hedge.

Growzone: 6-9

As Low As $44.25
1. Choose Size & Quantity
Size Price Quantity
3 Gallon Pot $44.25 List $59.95 26% OFF
2. Choose Recommended Add-Ons
Product Price Quantity
Espoma Bio-Tone Starter Plus $16.95
Treegator Jr. Slow Release Watering Bag $25.95
15" Tree Staking kit by DeWitt $16.95

California Residents: This product can not be shipped to California at this time. Browse products that can be shipped to California here.

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This Plants Growzone: 6-9
Foster Holly Tree Hardiness Zone
Growing Zone: 6-9
Mature Height: 15 to 25 Feet
Mature Width: 8 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

Foster Holly Tree for Sale Online


Foster Holly (Ilex x attenuata 'Fosteri'), also known as Foster's No. 2 Holly, is a compact evergreen tree with bright red berries and glossy green foliage. Holly trees are excellent for use as privacy screens and hedges but also make wonderful specimen trees. Foster Holly trees add year-round interest to any landscape and their fruit attracts birds well into winter. The Foster Holly grows at a moderate rate and can grow up to 20 feet tall and 12 feet wide. It prefers at least a few hours of full sun every day or filtered sun all day. When planted in dense rows, hollies make excellent windbreakers. Holly Trees are well loved for their ornamental foliage and make beautiful wreaths at Christmas.


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Full Description

Using Foster Holly Trees as a Privacy Screen

Foster Holly Trees are winter hardy to Zone 6. It is a naturally pyramidal tree, which can reach up to 25 feet tall and 15 feet wide at the base, which makes it great for use as a tall screen. Give Foster Hollies plenty of room, to allow for symmetry of growth. It grows well in a variety of soils, but does prefer good drainage. Fosteri Holly is useful if you need to create privacy for your home. It’s a moderate growing tree growing around 1 to 2 feet per year when it's happy. We recommend planting Foster No. 2 Holly Trees 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 Foster 2 Holly Trees are a great way to not only create privacy but to reduce noise from a busy roadway adjacent to your property for example. Foster Holly trees also make a wonderful backdrop for planting beds. The pleasing dark color makes flowering plants really standout especially in the winter when it has its bright red berries.

Using Foster Holly Trees as a Formal Hedge

Foster Holly Trees are 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, Foster Holly Trees will create a dense dark-green screen or box-shaped hedge, similar to a Yew Hedge. Foster Holly can be kept to any height as long as you trim it once or twice a year.

Use Foster Holly Tree to hide Utility Meters

Foster Holly Trees 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 to the garden.

Soil Types for Foster Holly Trees

Foster Holly trees grow well in a wide range of soils, ranging from all sand to pure red clay. When planting in very sandy soils adding organic matter is always recommended to improve the soils ability to hold water and nutrients. When planting in hard clay soils, its best to dig the hole several feet wider than the root system and fill with soft loam soil to give the young Fosteri Holly tree a faster, more aggressive root system. Foster Hollies prefer well drained soils but will tolerate wet soils for short periods of time. Foster Holly should never be planted in soils that are excessively wet for long periods of time. Since Foster Hollies have a relativley shallow root system, weeds and grass growing around the tree will cause the tree to grow much slower until established. Mulching will improve your growth three fold. Mulch not only stops weeds and grass, it will hold soil moisture and maintain a lower more even soil temperature, stimulating more aggressive root growth.

How do I prune Foster Holly Trees?

Shearing of Foster Holly Trees is generally not needed however for a formal hedge start shearing when the tree reaches 3 or 4 feet in height, cutting only the sides, remove no more than 3 or 4 inches of growth. This will cause the tree to grow thicker. If you want the tree to grow tall don't cut the top leader, just shape the sides. The best time to shear is after a new growth spurt finishes and the new growth begins to mature. Growth will go from a smooth, greasy texture, to a rougher snake skin look. Shearing twice a year is sufficient but only if needed. To keep your trees at a particular height requires cutting the central leader and then shearing all outside branches. This will control the tree for many years, but in time the tree will become too large to maintain. Pruning can help make Foster Holly more bushy. It is recommended that you disinfect your shears before you begin and even after each plant to prevent disease spread. You can prune dead or diseased limbs anytime of the year. To encourage thick bushy trees simply trim back the limbs that have outstretched the rest of the tree.

How long do Foster Holly trees live?

If planted in the right conditions and decently cared for, Foster Holly can live 100 years or longer.


Planting Information

Follow these guidelines for the best results.

HOW TO PLANT FOSTER HOLLY TREES

HOW TO PLANT FOSTER HOLLY TREES

Never plant Foster Holly Trees 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. Fosteri 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 trees”? 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.

HOW TO FERTILIZE FOSTER HOLLY

HOW TO FERTILIZE FOSTER HOLLY

We recommend when planting your Foster's No. 2 Holly Trees to use Bio-tone starter fertilizer by Espoma. We have trialed many so called “starter fertilizers” over the years and have come to rely on Bio-tone exclusively for our own use. Simply mix the recommended amount of Bio-tone into the back fill soil and water in generously when back filled. Bio-tone® Starter Plus is an all-natural plant food that is combined with a stronger concentration of beneficial bacteria along with both endo and ecto mycorrhizae. Basically the “good” fungus in Bio-tone colonizes on the growing roots of your newly planted plant and does not allow disease causing fungus to attack the new roots. It has also shown promise in stimulating the growth of the new roots which means quicker establishment for you plant. After establishment and during the following years we recommend Holly-tone used at the recommended rates. It is also organic and slow release which will feed your trees the proper amount of nutrients over a period of time rather than all at once which can burn the root tips and actually have the opposite effect of slowing down plant growth. It also will help to maintain the acid level in the soil that Foster Holly trees need to thrive.

HOW TO WATER FOSTER'S NO 2 HOLLY

HOW TO WATER FOSTER'S NO 2 HOLLY

To help your Foster Holly's roots to establish, apply 2-3 gallons of water for each inch of trunk in diameter several times a week. Do not add water if the root ball is saturated. Follow this schedule for three-six months depending on the USDA Zone you live in. Once established, apply 1 gallon a week to the rootball. You can discontinue irrigation once the deciduous trees in your area have dropped their leaves. You should try to moisten the soil 2-3 feet deep each time you irrigate. Depending on the soil condition, you may need more or less water. Clay for instance is more difficult to saturate and requires adding the water more slowly, while sandy soil absorbs water quickly. Keep this in mind when watering your newly planted tree. It is best to water you tree with a soaker hose not a sprinkler.


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