The American Holly

american holly tree

Holly is a popular Christmas and Winter holiday season decoration. In English poetry and English stories, the holly is inseparably connected with the merry-making and greetings which gather around the Christmas time. But this tree offers much more. It lends its unique beauty to the landscape all year long and provides shelter and food for birds.

The American holly, Ilex opaca, is a species of holly, native to the eastern and south-central United States. It is a medium-sized broad-leaved evergreen tree with alternate leaves that are stiff, green and often pale yellow beneath. The edges are curved with several spike-like points. The petiole is short with a pair of minute stipules. The leaves remain on the branches for two to three years, finally falling in the spring. The sexes are separate from the female tree producing those beautify red berries.

The American holly is often cultivated by plant nurseries for use as an evergreen ornamental plant. It is planted as a shrub or as a slower-growing ornamental tree with over 1,000 cultivars available.

If you are interested in growing holly please remember these facts and choose a suitable location. The American holly grows to a height of 40–50′ and a spread of 18–40′ at maturity. This tree grows at a slow to medium rate, with height increases of anywhere from less than 12″ to 24″ per year. Full sun and partial shade are best for this tree, meaning it prefers a minimum of four hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Tulip Poplar Tree Facts


The tulip tree, Liriodendron tulipifera, is one of the largest of the native hardwood trees of the eastern United States, known to reach the height of 190 feet. Common names are confusing and include yellow-poplar and fiddle trees, but this tree is not related to poplars or tulips. The genus Liriodendron is in the magnolia family. It is a fast-growing and valuable hardwood species. The alternate leaves are simple and pinnately veined.

Tulip Poplar Flowers

The perfect large brilliant flowers are solitary, greenish-yellow with dashes of red or orange. They yield large quantities of nectar. Each inflorescence is borne on a short peduncle with flower parts arranged in a spiral, a condition of basal angiosperms. The flower parts are not distinctly differentiated into sepals and petals. The male and female portions of the flower are numerous. The stamen filaments are distinguishable from the pollen-producing anthers. The tree’s flower superficially resembles a tulip, hence the derivation of the common name.

These Trees Easily Grow From Seeds

Tulip trees grow readily from seeds. If seeds are planted in autumn, they come up the succeeding spring. However, if sown in spring, they often remain a year in the ground. It is reported that seeds from the highest branches of old trees are most likely to germinate. Alternatively, the tree can be propagated from cuttings. It prefers deep, rich, moist soils.


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