News and Blog Articles
News and Blog Articles
With summer right around the corner, bringing warm sunshine and fun hours spent outdoors, we’ve decided to feature the Nellie R. Stevens holly for May’s Tree of the Month. These broadleaf hollies are often thought of as winter fixtures; their tall, conical shape is highly reminiscent of Christmas trees, and their branches, which grow ruby-red berries in the colder months, make great decorations for the Christmas season. Their dark green leaves also attractively contrast the white of newly-fallen snow.
So why are we showcasing the Nellie R. Stevens Holly in the summer?
Well, these lovely evergreens actually offer vibrant colors year-round.
When planted in rows, these hollies make perfect privacy screens. With just a few feet between each tree, their branches will quickly grow wide enough to intertwine with each other, creating a barrier between your property and the prying eyes and unwanted noises of the rest of the world. This “living wall” provides some separation and turns your backyard into a quiet, serene oasis where you can enjoy the longer summer days with your friends and family.
Nellie R. Stevens Holly 101
Taxonomically classified as Ilex x, the Nellie R. Stevens holly is commonly referred to without the middle initial (just Nellie Stevens holly). They grow quickly in comparison to other native trees in Georgia, adding a solid 2 to 3 feet in height when young. Typically, matured Nellie Stevens will reach widths of around 15 feet and heights of up to 30 feet when left to their own devices; this height is stunted somewhat when multiple hollies are planted close to each other to form a privacy screen, where they will usually top out at between 20 and 25 feet high.
Without pruning and maintenance, these trees will mostly maintain their attractive, conical shape. If desired, the lower branches can be pruned back to expose the trunk, giving them that more stereotypical “tree” shape. They are also resistant to pests and pest damage, including deer, making them especially suited for the Athens and Watkinsville areas, where white-tailed deer are an adorable menace to our plant friends. The only pests to look out for on your Nellie Stevens are spider mites, scale, and whitefly, as well as a rare but highly-specialized leaf miner that feeds specifically on hollies. To learn how to keep your eye out for pest and other damage, read our 5 Simple Signs To Identify If Your Tree Is In Decline article.
If you are looking for a low maintenance privacy barrier that will increase your curb appeal (while reducing the nasty yellow pollen around your yard), then take a second look at the beautiful Nellie R. Stevens Holly!
Emily Casuccio is sister and sister-in-law to Rebekah and Scott Rushing, and has over half a decade of experience in copywriting, copyediting, proofreading, and developmental storyboarding. She's worked with both published and undiscovered authors on both fiction and nonfiction, and takes pride in supporting local businesses. Her passion lies in the written word and helping authors of all capacities realize their dreams and achieve their fullest potential. To learn more about her, read samples of her work, or contact her, visit her online portfolio.
6/21/2021 06:22:11 am
1/18/2022 06:39:08 pm
When is the planting season for the Nellie? I have 40 saplings, but I can't find any information on WHEN to plant them. I usually plant arborvitae and this will be my first time mass planting a different species of tree to support the evergreen privacy fence. It has a drip system. I live in 6A/5B zone. Now is when I'd plant the arborvitae, then turn on the drip system in late May/June. As my property is a watershed, watering for most of the year isn't really necessary for them, but I do give them a little in July/August via the drip system. Thank you for your help in advance.
1/19/2022 07:01:20 am
1/19/2022 01:15:07 pm
Thank you for this help. Based on this information, I should plant them late March here in Missouri. We get frost/freeze snaps in December, then snow and freezing temps, more on than off, till mid-March. Being a watershed, my surface ground freezes to about 2 foot down (frost line). The small fish pond I'm digging has to go down a min to 4ft so the fish won't die, plus it needs a defroster in the winter for just in case the weather goes haywire and really freezes over in a blizzard. So the new growth would be demolished if I plant earlier than late March, then. I am very thankful you keep up with your website comments. So many others don't. YOU are appreciated! Stay safe and healthy in these trying times.
7/26/2022 04:20:45 am
Hello! Thanks for sharing the information! I am wondering if you can provide any additional information regarding the root ball of a mature Nellie…how far past the canopy does it extend, if any. What is the depth of the roots? Thanks!
7/26/2022 06:09:04 am
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.