Sky Pencil Holly Tree (Ilex crenata ‘Sky Pencil’)

Sky Pencil Holly Tree


What is Sky Pencil Holly Tree

Famous for its good looks, from our nation’s capital to your backyard, the Sky Pencil Holly is a popular, versatile evergreen tree. Especially since it can be planted as an accent on the corners of your exterior, or in rows for a narrow hedge, or alone as an ornamental.

But no matter how you use it, you can expect hassle-free care. You’ll be fascinated by the Sky Pencil Holly’s shape – growing skyward naturally without the need for trimming (unless you want to keep them at a specific height). So, if you’re looking for a sleek, updated, stylish look, use these Hollies with their tall, narrow, columnar shape.

Plus, it’s one of the few plants whose branches grow upward. And very few shrubs can give you this kind of height without encroaching on nearby plants. The Sky Pencil’s benefits are endless, from its sleek silhouette to its cold-hardy growth, all the way down to -10 degrees.

But the best part of our Sky Pencil Holly is its strong beginning. We’ve planted, grown and shipped your Holly with care, so you’ll get successful results at home. And our larger trees have more advanced root systems, meaning they will adapt more quickly to your environment while providing faster growth.

Recent increases in demand have left this plant in short supply.

Sky Pencil Holly Tree (Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil') Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil'

How to Grow and Care for Sky Pencil Holly Tree

Sky Pencil Holly Tree (Ilex crenata ‘Sky Pencil’) Growing Requirements

Hardiness zone 5-8 outdoors

Sun exposure

Plant your Holly in an area with full to partial sun – at least 4 hours of sunlight daily.


Fertilization isn’t required for your Holly, but you can apply an evergreen fertilizer in the spring as needed.


Choose a planting location with ample sunlight and protection from harsh winds. Although partial sun is tolerable, we recommend full sun (6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day) whenever possible. For best growing results, make sure the soil drains well.

Then, dig the hole twice the width and the same depth as the Sky Pencil’s root ball. Carefully place the tree in the center of the hole, hold the sky pencil straight and begin to back fill with the removed soil. Add organic matter to the soil as necessary to improve drainage. Water the planting site to settle the soil and then mulch to retain soil moisture.


Water your Sky Pencil Holly regularly to help the root system become well established. As a good rule of thumb, check soil surrounding your tree to make sure it’s moist, but not soggy. If the leaves become pale green in color this could be an indication that too much water is present in the soil.


Fertilize your Sky Pencil Holly tree once annually with a slow-release fertilizer.

Sky Pencil Holly Tree (Ilex crenata ‘Sky Pencil’) Details

Common name Sky Pencil Holly Tree
Botanical name Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil'
Plant type Shrubs, Hedges
Hardiness zone 5-8 outdoors
Growth rate Slow
Height 4-10 ft. or trim to desired height
Width 1-3 ft.