• Ilex Nellie stevens holly privacy border screen for landscaping
  • Nellie Stevens Holly Dark Green Foliage with Red Berries
  • Nellie Stevens Holly Privacy Screen for backyard landscape
  • a cluster of green nellie stevens holly trees sold online
  • a close look at the glossy green leaves of the nellie stevens holly tree

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Nellie Stevens Holly

Ilex 'Nellie R. Stevens'

Nellie Stevens Holly is a low-maintenance, fast-growing tree that adds a sense of uniform and permanence to landscape. Producing flowers in the spring and juicy red berries in the fall, the Nellie Stevens Holly is a great plant for attracting pollinators year round!

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Nellie Stevens Holly Trees for Sale Online

Nellie Stevens Holly (Ilex Cornuta) is the fast-growing English holly producing lustrous dark green leaves and red fruits. This evergreen pyramidal tree is noted for its ability to reach impressive heights at a fast-paced growth rate.

The Stevens Holly Tree reaches heights up to 25 feet tall and up to 15 feet wide at the base. The tree's pyramidal form and lustrous foliage makes for a grand statement to any landscape.

Ideal for USDA hardiness zones 6 through 9, this hardy tree grows well in a variety of conditions, and thrives under conditions of neglect. The evergreen tree prefers a slightly acidic, well-drained soil and full sun. Tolerating mild droughts and intense summer heat, your Holly tree will remain beautiful year round.

Nellie Stevens Holly Trees are impressive in the way that, unlike most Holly Trees, it can self pollinate and produce white flowers and red berries without a male pollinator.

The trees make for a gorgeous living wall when planted as a hedge, and are also popular in use as yard borders, specimen plants and as privacy screens.

Nellie Stevens Holly Tree Plant GuideHow to Plant Nellie Stevens Holly Trees

Growzone: 6-9 Nellie Stevens Holly Hardiness Zone 6-9
Hardiness 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

How to Care for Nellie Stevens Holly

Be sure to read our planting instructions to ensure a healthy and happy plant for years to come!

How do I plant a Nellie Stevens Holly?

How do I plant a Nellie Stevens Holly?

Never plant Nellie Stevens 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 too deep can cause rotting of the stem and death to the tree. Nellie Stevens 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. 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.

What type of fertilizer is best for a Holly Tree?

What type of fertilizer is best for a Holly Tree?

We recommend when planting your plants to use Bio-tone starter fertilizer by Espoma. We have tried 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 backfill 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 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 your plant.

After establishment and during the following years we recommend Holly-tone used at the recommended rates. It is also an 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 Nellie Stevens Holly trees need to thrive.

How do I shear Nellie Stevens Holly Trees?

How do I shear Nellie Stevens Holly Trees?

Shearing 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, removing 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 Nellie Stevens 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 often do I water my Nellie Stevens Holly Tree?

How often do I water my Nellie Stevens Holly Tree?

To help your Nellie Stevens Holly trees 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 your tree with a soaker hose not a sprinkler.


Frequently Asked questions

How Fast Do Nellie Stevens Hollies Grow?


General questions

What do the pot sizes mean?


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