Also known as holly, English holly, European holly, or occasionally Christmas holly, It is a evergreen tree or shrub found, for example, in shady areas of forests of oak and in beech hedges. It has a great capacity to adapt to different conditions and is a pioneer species that repopulates the margins of forests or clearcuts
As a tree, Christmas holly can exceed 10 m in height. It is usually found as a shrub or a small tree about 1 m tall with a straight trunk and pyramidal crown, which branches from the base. It grows slowly and does not usually fully mature due to grazing, cutting, or fire. It can live 500 years, but usually does not reach 100.
Holly is a rugged pioneer species that prefers relatively moist areas, and tolerates frost as well as summer drought, After the first frost of the season, holly fruits become soft and fall to the ground serving as important food for winter birds at a time of scarce resources, The flowers are attractive as nectar sources for insects such as bees, wasps, flies, and small butterflies. An abundance of fruit can be seen on holly bushes mid to late winter between the spiky leaves. Holly berry as it’s known is a great source of food for birds during the winter months. English holly or holly bush produces white flowers in summer with green foliage, and grows well in most soil types. There is massive amounts of berry production in colder months and is superb for feeding birds.
If using in as hedge: All species in a wildlife hedge can be cut back or “Coppiced” without harm. In the 1st year after establishment the hedge can be cut back to stimulate growth of the hedge from the base thereafter cut every 2-3 years. If the weather is unsuitable for planting or receiving the hedging, dig a hole and bury the roots of the bunched plants, they can be held like that till planting. After planting it is advantageous to mulch the hedge with lawn mowing or leaf mould to suppress weeds and also be done with plastic or carpet cuts and covered with soil.