Home > Evergreen Trees > Holly Trees > American Holly
American Holly 

Detailed images

*images shown are of mature plants

Pam's Picks
American Holly evergreen trees are great when you need a dense, uniform privacy hedge. I've found these plants to be low maintenance and extremely easy to grow. Be sure to plant them 4-5 feet apart.

American Holly

America's Most Popular Holly


Ships Tomorrow - Thu, Mar 5

This item is currently SOLD OUT

You may be interested in the products below

• Ideal for creating a hedge or privacy screen 
• Disease & Pest Resistant 
• Award winning! 

American Holly Trees can be trimmed as a foundation hedge or as a secure, tall privacy fence. They require minimal watering and grow in a variety of climates. Resists mildew, disease and insects. Even pruning is easy. 

Thick branches grow out from top to bottom, making it great for screening and privacy. Plant your holly trees 4-5 ft. apart for a dense wall that blocks out neighbors and noise. Matures to about 20-30 feet tall. Also makes a great stand-alone ornamental tree where you need year-round color. 

This tree received the coveted Gold Medal from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society in 2001 for its ability to easily grow in a variety of conditions. 

These holly trees are a delight! 

* Enjoy bright red berries against deep green foliage during the winter months 
* Clip off branches to use as holiday decorations 
* Attract birds and wildlife, including bluebirds & cardinals 

Creamy white flowers bloom in the springtime, giving you a variety of color over the seasons. New growth will have a reddish tint, but will quickly turn green. 

Grows in full sun or partial shade, moist or drained soils, including clay, sand and everything in between. Prefers Growing Zones 6-9. 

If you love hollies and need privacy, this is the evergreen for you. 

Growing Zones: 6-9

Mature Height: 15-20 ft.
Mature Width: 12-15 ft.
Sunlight: Full - Partial
Soil Conditions: Adaptable
Drought Tolerance: Fair
Botanical Name: Ilex opaca
Growing Zones 6-9
This plant is recommended for zones: 6-9
(green area above)

You are in Growing Zone:
X - Clear Zone

cannot find zip code, please re-enter
loading loading...

It's Easy to Plant your American Holly

Specific Directions for American Holly

Plant your American Holly tree in an area that receives full to partial sunlight. For a hedge or privacy screen plant your American Hollies about five feet apart. Make sure that your American Holly doesn't sit in a low area of the yard that collects standing water.

American Hollies prefer slightly acidic soil, but will grow well in various soil types, even soil that's sandy in heavy in clay. Add organic material to your soil to lighten the texture and improve drainage. Keep your soil moist until your tree is established. Once American Holly Trees are established they're drought tolerant and only need extra water during dry spells.

Once a year in the early Spring fertilize your American Holly Tree with a slow release fertilizer for an acid loving shrub like Holly-tone. Small white flowers bloom every Spring, and turn into bright red berries in the Fall that last through the Winter months.

Step 1 - Dig Your Hole

Select a site with full to partial sun and moist or well drained soil for your American Holly.

First, dig each hole so that it is just shallower than the root ball and at least twice the width.

Then loosen the soil in the planting hole so the roots can easily break through.

Use your shovel or try dragging the points of a pitch fork along the sides and bottom of the hole.

Step 2 - Place Your Plant

Next, separate the roots of your American Holly gently with your fingers and position them downward in the hole.

The top of the root flare, where the roots end and the trunk begins, should be about an inch above the surrounding soil.

Then make sure the plant is exactly vertical in the hole.

To make it just right, use a level.

Step 3 - Backfill Your Hole

As you backfill the hole, apply water to remove air pockets.

Remove debris like stones and grass and completely break up any dirt clumps.

Water your American Holly again after the transplant is complete.

To help retain some of that moisture, it's recommended that you place mulch around each plant to a depth of 2"-3" up to but not touching the trunk. Organic mulches such as wood chips also help to better soil structure as they decompose.

4.6 / 5.0
11 Reviews
Growth Rate
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
A few comments. First, the size of the shrubs were better than as described: all 7 hollies were 3-1/2 to 4 feet! Second, the shrubs arrived in excellent condition thanks to incredible care in packing them. Third, all the shrubs were healthy and covered with new growth. Last, for quality, value and convenience my compliments to Fast Growing Trees
Was this review helpful? Yes (13) No (0) · Flag as Inappropriate
December 31, 2012
2 years ago
No complaints, and high hopes, shipping as advertised. The holly trees are looking good. They survived a harsh winter - and I had my concerns. Now they have some berries on them and probably grew about a foot or so over summer. I am anxious to see a lot more growth and am checking my patience quotient. Strong hopes, though
Was this review helpful? Yes (8) No (0) · Flag as Inappropriate
December 31, 2012
My holly trees were in great shape when they arrived, bigger than I thought.They made it through a rainy spring and then a very dry July. Still healthy and they have some new growth.I will definitely buy more from Penny and her great specials.Janie Greenwald
Was this review helpful? Yes (7) No (0) · Flag as Inappropriate
December 31, 2012
3 years ago
Product arrived today--well packed in a box that secured the holly plants (two in a box) so well I had to use snips and a prybar to remove the stapled cardboard. Items were a good size, about three feet tall, green with berries on them. These may be the largest, best looking plants we've ever received in the mail. They went in the ground right away, and hopefully they will do well
Was this review helpful? Yes (4) No (0) · Flag as Inappropriate
December 31, 2012
Planted six in November 2011. Since we have had a mild winter, the have continued to grow! They are beautiful and had berries this year already
Was this review helpful? Yes (4) No (0) · Flag as Inappropriate
December 31, 2012
3 years ago
Holly survived the -20 winter and is doing great.
Was this review helpful? Yes (4) No (0) · Flag as Inappropriate
December 31, 2012
4 years ago
The trees were received promptly and in great shape. They've been in since spring (a tough one here in Michigan) and they have modest growth. Overall, very healthy, and I look forward to next year with more growth and filling out
Was this review helpful? Yes (3) No (0) · Flag as Inappropriate
December 31, 2012
2 years ago
American Holly
Bought my American Holly late in the growing season, so there isn't a lot of growth yet, but it's been well below average temps and it's still looking great. It came packaged great and arrived fast. I'm totally happy and plan to purchase other plants and trees from FGT.
Was this review helpful? Yes (1) No (0) · Flag as Inappropriate
January 8, 2015
From Derby, KS, US
4 months ago
Growing Zone:
Thank You Gina, All 15 trees arrived beautiful!! I planted them on a slop for privacy. Can't wait to watch them grow. I will recommend Fast Growing Trees to all my neighbors. They are stopping by to ask where I got them. All is good in the neighborhood
Was this review helpful? Yes (3) No (2) · Flag as Inappropriate
December 31, 2012
1 year ago
Growth Rate
Would not buy again
This was not really a tree in my opinion. It was like a scrub and very weak and did not look healthy. It did not make it through the first winter.
Was this review helpful? Yes (2) No (3) · Flag as Inappropriate
October 28, 2014
From Grand Rapids, MI, US
2 years ago
Growing Zone:
These trees were first rate.
Was this review helpful? Yes (1) No (2) · Flag as Inappropriate
December 31, 2012
2 years ago
Browse 24 questions and 35 answers
Hide answersShow all answers | Sort by
How swiftly does American holly grow?
A shopper on May 31, 2014
Best Answer: Not very fast. I bought about 20 of them 4 years ago. They were all only a single shoot about 18" tall. Three are now about 8 feet tall and 3 feet wide but very sparse (although there was a cardinal nest in one of them this year with two successfully raised cardinals). Another 8 or so are about 3 feet tall and a couple of feet wide, and sparse. Two died back to the ground but came back and are about 2 feet tall now. And the other 8 died over a two year period and I replaced them. Those eight are really hardy and doing well about 4 feet tall and a couple of feet wide although two of them died so I replaced those two last fall (2013), they died back to the ground (over winter in Illinois) but re-sprouted this spring and look like they will make it this year. So it is varied. But I might add that the locations are variable too. All were planted 8' apart along the back of my property. Some were planted closer to water, some more shaded, some have had mole activity around them, others are more in the sunlight, 1/2 are on the north side of a fence and the other 1/2 are more in sunlight, so lots of variables. The tallest and healthiest have been where there is more moisture, evening shade and are on a north side of a fence. Eventually they are going to look nice, and be tall, but they are slow growing. I do think the taller ones are about to take off now. Hope that helps.
Reply · Report · Dan L on Jun 1, 2014
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (6)
Hi! I would like to ask, what does it mean 3 gallon height size? Thanks a lot!
Nataliya V on Aug 12, 2014
Best Answer: The terms 3 gal is in reference to the containers size that holds the root ball. On average a 3 gal plant may be approx 2-3 ft in height,
Reply · Report · Gena MStaff on Dec 4, 2014
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (5)
How tall and wide is the 3 gallon plant?
A shopper on Jul 29, 2014
Best Answer: They are approximately 24" tall and 6-10" wide.
Reply · Report · Angela SStaff on Dec 5, 2014
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (5)
When is best time to plant in northern Illinois?
A shopper on Jun 29, 2014
Best Answer: The best time to plant is in the early Spring or Early Fall. It's okay to go ahead and plant if you aren't experiencing scorching summer temperatures.
Reply · Report · Allison BStaff on Jul 7, 2014
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (2)
How does Holly stand up to winds? Eastern Washington, 20-35 MPH is normal and clocking to 50 at times.
A shopper on Sep 13, 2014
Best Answer: Fast Growing Trees emailed me to see if I could answer your question, I'll do my best... I'm from Virginia and I purchased a tree about a year ago. It's really not that windy here. I can tell you that the two holly trees I purchased are doing very well. They come with a good stake attached to them that would probably help you. For the price it's worth the chance in my opinion. I hope that helps you.
Reply · Report · Mark V on Sep 18, 2014
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (1)
I want to plant an evergreen hedge along the east side of my house where it will get only morning sun. I want to keep it well trimmed/shaped. What evergreen would work the best?
Rick S on Jul 3, 2014
Best Answer: I have American Holly in both sun and part shade...I think the holly is more appropriate for sun. I do have dense yews hedge in a morning sun location on the other side and they are great there but they only grow to about 3 feet if that would be alright.
Reply · Report · Paula H on Jul 3, 2014
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (1)
Do these hollies need male and female plants for them to produce berries?
Sally j on Sep 12, 2014
Best Answer: Our holly trees are transgender. They're both male and female, so they all produce berries.
Reply · Report · Allison BStaff on Dec 22, 2014
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (1)
Are the berries toxic to dogs or other animals? I have 2 dogs that graze like cattle! I need a fast growing privacy hedge.
Melanie E on Aug 23, 2014
Best Answer: The berries can cause dogs to experience vomiting and diarrhea if digested. the berries also cause discomfort among cats and horses. The sharp prickled leave often deter grazing animals away.
Reply · Report · Allison BStaff on Aug 25, 2014
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (1)
is the America holly deer resistant?
A shopper on Oct 9, 2014
Best Answer: I have several American Holly trees and I live in the middle of a large wooded area with tons of deer. They have eaten Tulips, Impatiens and other flowers, but I have never noticed any munching on the Hollies.
Reply · Report · Jeffrey on Oct 11, 2014
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (1)
Need to know how much it will cost me for 65 feet of American holly hedge?
Karen S on Oct 23, 2014
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (1)
Do they require a lot of water? I'm looking or drought resistant plants that don't require a lot of water.
Coral on Oct 23, 2014
Best Answer: The American Holly is one of the more drought tolerant plants.
Reply · Report · Angela SStaff on Dec 5, 2014
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (0)
I live in Chino Hills Ca will the American Holly grow in my area? Thanks
A shopper on Jul 13, 2014
Best Answer: It looks like Chino Hills is just outside of the recommended growing zone for the American Holly. Check your location on the zone map below, if your residents falls in zone 9 then it should grow fine.

Reply · Report · Allison BStaff on Jul 16, 2014
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (0)
Hi my question is about the american holly how tall or how big is the 3 gallon? I need about 12 I would appreciate your answer. Thank you Tony Filakouris.
Tony F on Jul 11, 2014
Best Answer: When I ordered then, they said 2-4 ft and they were every one 3 to 4 ft tall. They were big and healthy too! Was very pleased with them.
Reply · Report · Kent B on Jul 12, 2014
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (0)
how narrow can they be trimmed to create a hedge? Reggie
A shopper on Jun 8, 2014
Best Answer: probably not any narrower than 3 to 3.5 feet.
Reply · Report · Paula H on Jul 3, 2014
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (0)
Will it grow, in ohio ?
Tammy Z on Dec 14, 2014
Best Answer: This tree is recommended for growing zones 6 - 9. Growing zone 6 falls in Southern Ohio, so it depends one where you're located! Northern Ohio gets a little too cold for this tree.
Reply · Report · Allison BStaff on Dec 22, 2014
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (0)
will this thrive in zone 5?
kevin s on Nov 15, 2014
Best Answer: It is not recommended for this tree. The growing zones are 6-9.
Reply · Report · Angela SStaff on Dec 5, 2014
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (0)
I have 65 feet to cover how many American holly do I need. I am in zone 6. Thank You... And how much will it cost me?
Karen S on Oct 23, 2014
Best Answer: You will need 13. We suggest spacing these 5ft apart. Cost will vary on the size and promotion we are running. Prices on the website are always up to date. http://www.fast-growing-trees.com/AmericanHolly.htm
Reply · Report · Angela SStaff on Dec 5, 2014
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (0)
will American holly die in Minnesota? If yes what else could I use I like the berries and flowers for the color and the birds
A shopper on Aug 30, 2014
Best Answer: Unfortunately Minnesota gets a little too cold for the American Holly Tree. Some cold hardier options are the Tulip Poplar, Jane Magnolia, and Emerald Green Thuja.
Reply · Report · Allison BStaff on Dec 22, 2014
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (0)
I would like to order and plant one of these for a client but why is it's height listed as "3 gallon?" How tall is the seedling?
A shopper on Aug 5, 2014
Best Answer: They are approximately 2ft tall.
Reply · Report · Angela SStaff on Dec 4, 2014
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (0)
Recommend evergreen plants, spacing and number of rows for a visual barrier with a mature height of about 25 Ft, location Salem NH (zip code 03079), that are hardy, reasonably fast growing, and are low maintenance? say comparable to dark American arborvitaes.
A shopper on Jul 22, 2014
Best Answer: The Willow Hybrid would be the best option for your area. How ever it can grow to 45 feet tall, so it would need to be pruned regularly to be kept at 25 feet tall. Other trees that would work well in your area are the Emerald Green Thuja, and the Juniper Wichita Blue, but they only get to about 15 feet tall.
Reply · Report · Allison BStaff on Jul 25, 2014
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (0)
what is the width of this plant?
A shopper on Jun 28, 2014
Best Answer: These plants grow to about 12-15 feet wide.
Reply · Report · Allison BStaff on Jul 7, 2014
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (0)
i'm thinking of planting these on top of a natural rock retaining wall. what is the root structure for the hollies? I want to make sure the roots do not push out the wall and cause it to fail.
hotdog on Feb 21, 2015
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (0)
How many of the bushes (gallons?) do I need to create a privacy hedge of about 6ft length?
Robert T on Feb 9, 2015
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (0)
Do you ship larger American Holly t
ees. how about a 5 foot tree?
FARMER on Jan 13, 2015
· Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (0)

Due to cold weather in some parts of the country, we have suspended shipping to the areas that are shaded on the map below. Please view the diagram to determine if your area has been affected. This includes anyone in Growing Zones 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. If you are unsure of your growing zone, visit our Growing Zone Finder.

We will resume normal shipping in the Spring. Please see the table below for your approximate ship date. If you live in a shaded area but wish to receive your product(s) now, please visit our contact us page here or call a customer service rep toll free at 888-504-2001.

  Zone Shipping Resumes
  Zone 2 May 4th
  Zone 3 May 4th
  Zone 4 May 4th
  Zone 5 April 13th
  Zone 6 March 30th
How do I Request a Different Ship Date?

Call us at 888-504-2001, email us or enter your requested ship date in our shopping cart next to the billing information section. 

Additional Info for Those Who Love to Read:

Orders are occasionally delayed if we see really bad weather approaching, or if we encounter unusual circumstances. A small number of our plants show a specific release date. If you purchase one of these and would like your other items sooner, just let us know. 
Amount of Order Shipping Charge
Less than $15 $11.95
$15.00-$23.99 $12.95
$24.00-$39.99 $16.95
$40.00-$79.99 $19.95
$80.00-$98.99 $24.95
$99+ ~32%

Will my Trees and Shrubs Look Like the Photographs?

Most trees and plants on the website are pictured in their mature form. Depending on the product and growth rate, mature development can take years for your plant to resemble the photos.

Picture the last time you took a walk in the woods. The young trees were not miniature bonsai versions of mature trees. Instead they were naturally thin and lanky. Young trees are programmed to race toward the light, before the competing vegetation crowds them out. Once established at 10 feet or more, they start developing a wide canopy and shedding lower limbs.

Potted Tree Dormant Tree Bare Root Tree
Late spring to early fall
trees are shipped potted
Some dormant trees
prefer to be potted
Most dormant trees shipped in the
late fall through spring arrive bare root

Bare Root trees are shipped without dirt or any green foliage showing. Some customers who have never planted bare root before, think that they received a "dead stick" with roots. These dormant trees are basically sleeping over the winter as most trees do. Because of their hibernation-like stage, this is a great way to transplant these trees. Since a bare root tree lacks foliage, they need very little moisture.

Most Trees and Shrubs are Pruned Before Shipping... at No Cost to You

Tree before pruning Tree after pruning Rose before pruning Rose after pruning
Maple Tree before pruning Maple Tree after pruning 3 gallon Knockout Rose before pruning 3 gallon Knockout Rose after pruning

Pruning makes plants appear to be less-full than the ones you may have seen at your local big box garden center. A retailer's goal is to have plants look their best while sitting in the store. Our goal is to have them look the best after you plant them.

Pruned trees and shrubs not only travel better, but become established much quicker. So rather than supporting extra foliage, they put their energy into sending out deep roots. Once that happens, your plants become hardier and quickly explode with new top growth. Above the ground, pruning helps your plants develop a more attractive form.