How Long Does A Holly Tree Live?

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Holly trees are beautiful trees and are often used for holiday decorations. Maybe you have a holly tree in your landscape and are wondering how long it will live. Perhaps you are considering planting a new holly tree on your land and would like to know the expected lifespan of the tree. We have researched these questions and more for this post. 

Holly trees can live at least 100 years or more. Common Holly trees are also known as European Holly. There are several records of Holly trees in Europe living well over 150 years. The oldest Holly tree on record is over 600 years old in Spain. 

Now you know the Holly tree has a long life span. You probably wonder how you can figure out the age of an existing holly tree. If you’re considering adding Holly to your landscape, then you might want to know the potential uses of the tree. Finally, you would like to learn about the berries of the Holly tree. Are they edible, what are the uses, and how long do they last? We will answer all of those questions. Keep reading to learn more. 

This is a close-up of a Burford holly tree with red berries on a sunny day at the end of winter on a sunny day in Tennessee, How Long Does A Holly Tree Live?

How Old Do Holly Trees Live?

Holly is a genus with over 400 species, so the answer can vary based on which particular species. Holly trees can live over 100 years. The oldest tree on record is over 620 years old, located near Arroyo de Mondigo in Spain. There are several other Holly trees recorded on the website, Monumental Trees. The website includes 15 records of European Holly trees that are over the age of 110 years old. All of the trees in the database are located in Europe. 

Holly trees are a kind of evergreen tree. Evergreens are known to have long lifespans. Other trees that are in the evergreen family include pine and conifer. These trees can age to be over 500 years, with documented trees as old as 800 years. Holly trees don’t have the same lifespan as pines and conifers but do have other benefits that might make them a good choice for your property. 

Holly and berries background

How Tall Do Holly Trees Grow?

European and American Holly trees can be expected to grow to heights between 30 and 50 feet tall. Monumental Trees also includes records for height. The tallest Holly tree recorded on the website is 82 feet tall in the United Kingdom and is a European Holly. Japanese Holly trees will grow up to 10-15 feet tall. Meanwhile, Bordeaux is a dwarf variety of the Holly genus. It grows up to be only 2-3 feet tall and is a dense shrub that spreads 3-5 feet. 

How Can You Tell the Age Of A Holly Tree?

The best way to get an approximate age of a Holly tree is to measure the circumference of the trunk. You can do this by first measuring from the base of the trunk up 4-5 feet. Wrap the measuring tape around the trunk at this spot to get the circumference in inches. Multiply this number by 2.54, which will convert the number to centimeters. Divide this number by 1.25 to obtain the approximate age of the tree. A Holly tree trunk grows in 1.25 centimeters of girth per year. 

New Year and Christmas border design isolated on white background, fir tree branches ribbon bows golden and red decorative baubles and pine cones traditional design

What Are Holly Trees Good For?

Holly trees are beneficial to landscaping. They make great hedge plants and privacy fencing. These are evergreen shrubs or trees that are easy to prune to keep uniform in shape while also filling in to create privacy on your property. If you are interested in a privacy hedge, check out this article to find other suitable plants, 17 Best Privacy Bushes And Shrubs.

Winterberry Holly Shrub XL Fruit

Click here to buy Winterberry Holly Shrub XL Fruit from Amazon. 

Holly trees are most commonly known for Christmas decorations. Deck the halls with boughs of holly. You can create your own Christmas Holly wreaths or garland by cutting off branches from your tree. This is a good craft project to personalize your holiday decorations with branches that come from your property. 

Holly trees also have medicinal benefits. The berries are not edible and are considered poisonous. It is the leaf of the Holly plant that is used to make medicinal tea. According to RX List, this tea has been used for coughs, illness, digestive issues, joint pain, arthritis, high blood pressure, and dizziness. Holly tea also contains caffeine and can be used as a coffee replacement.

To make Holly tea, you should gather the leaves of the plant. You can dry and steam them, which is the same process as making green tea. Another option is to roast the leaves, which is the process that is used to make black tea. Use about a teaspoon of ground leaves for one cup of tea with the same approximate caffeine as black tea. If you wish to make a tea with the same caffeine level as coffee, then the result may be too bitter for your taste. 

When Do Holly Bushes Get Berries?

A newly planted Holly bush or tree will start to get berries after about 4-5 years. The berries begin to turn red and ripen in autumn. They do stay on the tree through the Winter, which makes Holly branches a common Christmas decoration. These berries may be eaten by squirrels, birds, or other animals.

Holly berries are very toxic for humans, cats, and dogs. Take caution in protecting your children, pets, and family from eating the berries that may otherwise look edible. 

How Long Do Holly Berries Last?

Holly berries remain on the tree from Autumn through Winter but are often eaten completely by birds and squirrels. If you are cutting Holly branches to use as Christmas decorations, then you can expect the berries to look presentable for 2-3 weeks if you store them in the refrigerator. If you prefer Christmas decorations that are non-perishable and reusable, you can buy artificial Holly decorations from Amazon. 

Click here to buy Artificial Holly Garland Holiday Decoration from Amazon. 

Are Holly Trees Easy To Maintain?

Some gardeners and landscapers prefer trees that don’t require a lot of maintenance. All species of Holly are considered low maintenance. They do not require regular pruning like many other trees, but you should make sure to cut off any dead branches.

You may decide to prune some dwarf varieties to make an even-looking hedgerow. You may also choose to prune a larger variety to keep it smaller. Other than that, the only other time you need to interact with your holly tree is to remove branches for holiday decorations. 

You can learn about more low-maintenance plants that are beneficial for your garden by reading this post, 15 Low Maintenance Evergreen Shrubs For Your Garden.

In Closing

This is a close-up of a Burford holly tree with red berries on a sunny day at the end of winter on a sunny day in Tennessee, How Long Does A Holly Tree Live?

Holly trees can live to be well over 100 years. The lifespan depends on a variety of factors, including the species of Holly. The oldest Holly tree on record is over 600 years old and is the European Holly species known as Common Holly. It is most often associated with Christmas as a popular decoration for wreaths and garland. 

Holly trees have beautiful berries, but they are highly toxic if eaten. It has some practical benefits for your landscape, garden, and the leaves also have medicinal benefits when steeped in water to make tea. The Holly plant can be planted as a privacy hedge. It can fill in to effectively create a privacy fence and reduce the noise that comes from neighboring properties. 

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