Tree of the Month: Nellie Stevens Tree

The Holly tree is a well-known and much-loved tree. The ‘Nellie R. Stevens’ Holly is a cross between the English Holly and Chinese Holly, bred for its hardiness, fast growth, and abundant red berries.

Botanical Name: Ilex x ‘Nellie R. Stevens’

Characteristics: The Holly is a broad-leaf evergreen with spiked leaves and red berries. With glossy, dark green leaves, the ‘Nellie R. Stevens’ Holly is fast growing with abundant fruit production if a male Holly is nearby for pollination. Mature size is 20-30 feet high and 10-12 feet wide. These are great trees to use for privacy screens and hedges because of their dense growth and evergreen leaves.

Hardiness Zone: Zones 6-9

Requirements: Full to partial sun and well-drained soil is preferred. Once established, the Holly is drought resistant. These trees are sometimes grown with multiple stems, but one central leader is always recommended for a stronger structure. These are hardy trees, very low maintenance, and generally require very little pruning.

Pest Susceptibility: Aside from minor pest problems, such as scale, these are very pest and disease resistant trees.  The ‘Nellie R. Stevens’ cultivar is recommended for warmer areas that other Hollies cannot tolerate.

The Holly tree offers year-round interest. We highly recommend the ‘Nellie R. Stevens’ cultivar for its hardiness and low maintenance. 

Looking for more ideas? Check out our tree recommendations - for a full list of options that thrive right here in Springfield, MO. 

For help deciding which types of trees or shrubs would be best for your landscape and lifestyle - or to learn about our many other tree services - contact us. We’re proud to be your tree service company. Our local, certified arborists – are here and happy to help.