What is the Growth Rate of a Holly Tree?

The American holly tree is also known by its scientific name of Ilex opaca and is a member of the Aquifoliaceae family. This evergreen tree is native to North America and was prized by the American Indian tribes who bartered for them.

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The American holly tree is a broadleaf evergreen with 2- to 4-inch oval leaves. This tree does not change colors in the fall, and green or white flowers grow, emitting a lightly aromatic scent. American holly trees are characterized by the small, red berries which appear on female trees in the fall and winter months.


American holly trees reach heights of 35 to 50 feet and develop a spread of 15 to 25 feet. According to the University of Florida, IFAS Extension, American holly trees are considered slow growing, taking many years to reach maturity.


The American holly tree grows well in full sun and tolerates shade. This tree prefers well-drained soil of clay, sand or loam and has a high tolerance to drought conditions. This tree is susceptible to scale insects, white flies and sooty mold. Growing American holly trees in soil with reduced iron levels often causes leaf yellowing.


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