American Holly – Tree Form (Ilex opaca)

American Holly - Tree Form

  • Native Hardy Evergreen
  • One of The Most Popular Hollies Planted
  • Spring Flowers
  • Natural Pyramidal Shape
  • Grown As A Single Trunk Tree
  • Perfect for Specimen Planting

Looking for a standout tree in your landscape? If you’d like a low-maintenance evergreen that provides a strong and steady look throughout the year, you’ll adore Nature Hills American Holly Tree Form (Ilex opaca).

Yes, this is the classic Holly, featuring big, serrated dark green leaves and rich green foliage color year-round. This gorgeous native evergreen thrives in a variety of conditions – including partial shade – and it simply shines in fall and winter.

In fact, this attractive native tree is so ingrained in Americana, it looks as if Norman Rockwell could have painted it. But it’s not just nostalgia that brings instant warmth and fondness when people see it. We truly think this tree has a fresh, modern feel as well with its crisp, densely pyramidal profile and deep green leaves.

After all, everything old is new again. And let’s face it, if it was good enough for George Washington, it’s likely good enough to carry your landscape design all through every season.

Evergreen Hollies provide winter shelter for many songbirds throughout the year. The bark is a smooth grey-brown that adds a sturdy appearance to the trees character. This hardy native plant is pest and disease resistant.

Both male and female Hollies have a wonderful presence in the landscape, and females produce red berries. These red fruits are an excellent food source for birds.

American Holly is a beautifully useful tree for the landscape and the growth habit has an elegant feel.

How to Use American Holly Tree Form in the Landscape

Simply put, you can use this plant any way you want to. American Holly Tree Form is very adaptable. Keep it natural for a magnificent specimen tree, or tightly clipped as a manicured accent.

It shines during the holidays, of course. Place a large bowed ribbon around its stem and add strands of mini twinkle lights. Effortlessly sophisticated natural decorating at its finest!

But this beauty also is great the rest of the year. The deep leaf color never fades, and the tree form makes a striking silhouette no matter the season. In the spring, small white blooms give it a completely different look.

Plant them in a curved group to the south and west of a seating area to create a great retreat to get summer heat relief. You’ll create those all-important “garden bones” to base your design around.

Use American Holly as an amazing backdrop for an Azalea or Hydrangea garden, or pair with contrasting textures such as swaying Ornamental Grasses or large-leaved Hostas. Yellow groundcover roses would pop against the dark green foliage.

Stick with a strict plant palate to achieve a streamlined, modern look. Or give it a place of honor with a mix of evergreens for a restful, low-maintenance look. Either way, your neighbors will be envious of your good taste.

Tips for Care

American Holly thrives in many soil types, but does not tolerate poor drainage, nor is it drought tolerant. The plant benefits from a richly organic soil and should be mulched heavily when young.

Hollies like a pH of 5.5 to 6. A spring application of Dr. Earth Acid Lovers Organic and Natural Premium Fertilizer will assure that your Holly stays healthy and rich green year-round.

The American Holly grows best in full sun to part shade. The plant likes to have consistent moisture, but not remain wet. Will benefit from the same consistent moisture required by a lawn, as long as the drainage is good.

American Holly – Tree Form (Ilex opaca) Details

Common name American Holly - Tree Form
Botanical name Ilex opaca
Hardiness zone 5-9
Growth rate Medium
Height 40 - 50 ft.
Width 20 - 35 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun, Partial Shade
Moisture Medium
Soil condition Widely adaptable
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Flower color White
Leaf color Evergreen