Oak Leaf Holly

Oak Leaf Holly

Oak Leaf Holly – Click to Enlarge

Uses Accent Tree, Specimen Tree, Shrub
Common Names Oak Leaf Holly
Scientific Name lex x ‘Conaf’
Cold Hardiness Very Cold Hardy
Light Needs Full sun to partial sun
Flower Color No Flower
Fruit Red berries, prominent in winter
Water Needs Moderate, Drought Tolerant
Leaves Dark Green
E/D Evergreen
Mature Height As high as 20ft
Mature Width 6-8 Feet
Canopy Shape Conical

Oak Leaf holly is an eye-catching evergreen shrub that grows as tall as 20 feet. Alone or in pairs, it is ideally suited for specimen plantings. It makes an attractive green screen or hedge when cultivated in rows. One of the benefits it has over other holly trees such as the Nellie Stevens holly is that it is fuller at a younger age so can immediately make a stronger impact on your landscape without the need to mature. It is probably a better choice than the Nellie Stevens holly also because of its resistance to Witches Broom disease.

Oak Leaf holly is a dense, upright grower. It naturally assumes a roughly conical shape. As the plant ages, the lower branches release and widen, eventually spreading to between six and eight feet wide. New growth is purplish-green in color, maturing to a deep, shiny emerald. Unlike some other varieties of red holly, the Oak Leaf is self-fruitful. A single plant will produce festive, bright red berries without a cross-pollinator.

Sturdy Oak Leaf holly requires very little care. It prefers full sun to partial shade and grows well in almost any soil type. It is pest and disease resistant. Water needs are average after the plant is established. Like most hollies, Oak Leaf can withstand heavy pruning or shearing. The foliage of Oak Leaf holly may yellow slightly after a cold snap, but the plant recovers quickly without lasting damage.

Plant Oak Leaf holly where it will have plenty of room to spread, avoiding flowerbeds or other foundation plantings. The low growth pattern of Oak Leaf holly makes it particularly useful for planting beneath power lines. The emerald foliage and cheerful berries add a splash of color to drab winter lawns.