We all love trees, and for true tree enthusiasts, or those just curious about our Delaware State Tree, local tree care service company Stein Tree, discusses the American Holly.
American Holly History in Delaware
The American Holly (ilex opaca), one of over 1000 holly cultivars, has been the state tree of Delaware since 1939. The tree grew wild in our state, and a fertilizer salesman from Milton, Delaware, Charles C. Jones, Sr. began exporting holly products such as wreaths. The export became so popular that at one time, Milton was known as the Holly Capital of the World. The economic importance of the tree, until nearly the 1960s, was so great that a forester’s secretary suggested that the tree be named the state tree, and the Legislature signed a law to that effect.
American Holly Characteristics
The American Holly is an evergreen tree that is also classified as an ornamental tree. Like other evergreens, the tree keeps its foliage all year long, but its berries can brighten any dull winter landscape with their bright red color. Of course, in order for the red berries to be produced, multiple trees need to be grouped, including male and female varieties. The recommendation is one male tree to three female trees. The trees can be relatively far apart, as the pollination is done by bees, but both types must be present. The berries often serve as food for birds, but they are non-edible for humans.
Growth and Nurturing
The American Holly grows well in zones 5-9 in soils that are acidic, moist, rich, well-drained, sand or loamy. The holly is somewhat drought and flood resistant. Growing at a rate of 12 to 24 inches per year, the holly can reach heights of 40 to 50 feet, with a diameter of 18-40 feet.
The American Holly’s pyramidal shape and sharply pointed leaf tips make the plant ideal for a protective hedge. The leathery leaves maintain their green color all year so the hedge will remain an attractive element in your landscape.
The Holly tree requires little special treatment, but the experts at our tree care service company advise that you have regular trimming and pruning done for best results. Regular maintenance, proper watering and at least four hours a day of direct sunlight will keep your American Hollies at their best.
Stein Tree Service Company Is Passionate About Tree Care
A professional tree care service company should be knowledgeable, skilled and dedicated to proper tree maintenance. With Stein, you get dedicated professionals who are experienced and skilled at all aspects of tree care. Whether you need tree maintenance, tree removal or pest management, Stein Tree Service will take care of your trees. Contact us today for a free consultation.