Nellie Stevens Holly

$20

Description

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The Nellie Stevens has soared in popularity. Why? Well, for starters, it’s the ideal selection for both hedging and privacy screening, especially since it grows up to 3 feet each year.

Plus, it thrives on neglect. No green thumb is no problem since they grow in sun or partial shade. And you’ll appreciate how these holly trees stay deep green year-round, unlike other hedge trees that can brown out during either the summer heat or mild droughts.

Plant each Nellie Stevens Holly 5 to 6 feet apart for a living wall that gives you complete privacy, no holes and no gaps. You control how they grow – whether that’s naturally into a dense, pyramidal shape that matures at 15 to 25 feet in height, or pruned into a tall box hedge.

And because they grow as much as 2 to 3 feet per year without pruning, they’re truly one-of-a-kind.

Best of all, these Hollies are versatile and make perfect accents at the corners of your home, planting beds, or entryways. The dark green foliage makes a great contrast to surrounding trees and shrubs.

Furthermore, during the winter months, you’ll enjoy the Nellie Stevens’ red berries against its deep green foliage. Clip off a few branches to decorate your home for the holidays. Dazzling, graceful wildlife also emerges since those berries attract an array of birds.

You won’t find a better privacy screen at such a low price. These will sell out shortly, so hurry and grab a few Nellie Stevens of your own!

Planting & Care

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The Nellie Stevens Holly (Ilex ‘Nellie R. Stevens’) is a perfect specimen tree because of its bright red winter berries, but it also makes a great plant for a privacy or security hedge. (Nobody wants to try to get through the thorny leaves on this plant!) This fast growing holly variety is hardy in USDA zones 6-9, making it the perfect tree for all but the coldest high plains and rocky mountain areas. Nellie Stevens Hollies grow to a mature height of 15-25 feet pushing out roughly 3 feet of growth per year. This makes them ideal foundation plants or trees for the corner of your house. The mature width is 5-10 feet in a mostly conical or pyramid form. They love acidic soil, and will grow where many other trees won’t.

If planting as a specimen tree, leave at least 10 feet in diameter around the tree for it to spread out. If planting as a hedge, place plants eight to ten feet apart. They grow quickly and will fill in. Plant the Nellie Stevens Holly at the corner of your yard as a beautiful, pyramid-shaped focal point or as a hedge along your property line.

Planting directions: Hollies are broad leaf evergreens, and can dry out in the winter, the best time to plant these trees is in the spring to early fall. This gives them time to establish a good root system before winter sets in. Choose a planting area with full sun to partial shade. They need the sun to develop the pretty red fruits, and while hollies have both “male” and “female” plants, Nellie Stevens is a variety that produces berries reliably without a “male” around for pollination.

1) To plant and grow these trees, first you need a pair of sturdy leather gloves. The leaves have little thorns on them, so wearing gloves while handling them is a must!
2) To plant you holly tree (wearing your gloves) dig a hole as deep as the tree’s root ball and twice as wide.
3) Remove the tree from the container and place in the hole (this is where the gloves come in handy) If the tree’s root ball is situated lower than the surrounding soil, pick up the tree and add some more soil to the hole.
4) Fill in around the tree with a 50/50 blend of the native soil you removed from the planting hole and a mixture of gardening soil.
5) Mulch around your tree with shredded hardwood or pine straw. (Do not use crushed shells or other calcium-rich materials as mulch).

Watering: Nellie Stevens is fairly drought tolerant. Water new trees twice a week for the first two months. After two months, water once a week up until six months. At that time, the tree will be well-established and will only need extra water if it is very windy and sunny during the winter.

A good rule of thumb for watering broad leaf evergreens (trees with wide evergreen leaves) is to water deeply (count to forty on each plant) once a week for the month before the ground typically freezes. If you have several days above 50-60 degrees in the winter, it doesn’t hurt to give your Nellie Stevens Holly trees a drink.

Pruning: Holly trees grow tall and shapely without much pruning. If you want a bushier, rounder plant, cut off the top of the tree. This will cause buds in the interior of the tree to sprout and the tree will have a fuller look. You can also hedge or prune these trees for shape. Always cut back to a leaf to hide your pruning cuts.

Fertilizing: Fertilize holly trees in the spring and fall with special fertilizer made for acid-loving plants. Holly Tone is widely used for fertilizing.

Holly trees are underused in the landscape. People think they’re hard to grow, but they’re not—especially the Nellie Stevens variety. Nellie Stevens trees are particularly happy in Pacific Northwest and East Coast gardens because of the acidic soil. Nellie Stevens maintains a nice, conical shape as long as you don’t remove the top of the tree. In the winter, when all of your other trees are bare, Nellie Stevens is still a lustrous green with bright red berries.

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