North Texas Tree Care Guide: Yaupon Holly

Date January 07, 2023


Author TreeNewal Staff

When choosing the perfect tree for your North Texas landscape, a few popular options come to mind, like Chinese Pistache, oaks, and crepe myrtles. However, the lesser-known yaupon holly shouldn’t be overlooked! Prized for its adaptability and evergreen foliage, the yaupon holly is a perfect option for providing privacy or adding structural elements to your yard. This tree care guide will teach you everything you need to know about caring for your Yaupon Holly, from pruning to fertilization. So, whether you’re a first-time tree owner or just looking to brush up on your tree care knowledge, read on for the ultimate guide to keeping your trees healthy and looking great year-round!

Yaupon Holly Tree 101 

Native to Texas, the yaupon holly is a picturesque, upright single or multi-trunked shrub or small tree, classified as an evergreen. Female plants produce abundant, distinguishing red berries contrasting against small dark green leaves and pale gray bark. In North Texas landscapes, they take about ten years to reach maturity and achieve a vase-like shape, growing 15-25 feet tall and 15-20 feet wide, while dwarf varieties can reach about 3 feet in height. During the spring, yaupon holly plants produce inconspicuous white blooms. Yaupon holly is often grown in residential and community landscapes and trimmed into hedges to provide privacy and aesthetic value. Since they are evergreens, their leaves and berries won’t drop during the winter, adding a fun and festive touch to your winter landscape!

While birds like to feed on yaupon holly berries, they can be toxic if ingested by humans. If you’re thinking about planting a yaupon holly, but have small children, consider a male plant to avoid berry production.

Fun fact: yaupon holly leaves and twigs contain caffeine, which can be brewed into a mildly stimulating drink!

The Best Time to Plant Yaupon Holly in North Texas 

The ideal time to plant yaupon holly trees in Dallas/Fort Worth is during the winter and early spring. For better root establishment, ensure your soil is well-prepared with good drainage. If it’s not, contact a TreeNewal Dallas tree care specialist at (817) 592-6846 for soil conditioning.

The Ultimate Tree Care Guide for North Texas Yaupon Holly Trees 

The key to keeping yaupon hollies low-maintenance is ensuring they are properly taken care of through professional tree care services. This will enable them to develop greater resistance to environmental stressors, beautifying your landscape for years to come.

Soil Requirements 

The yaupon holly is one of the more tolerant of all holly shrubs. They grow well in various soil types, moisture, and pH levels but prefer slightly acidic soils. Once established, they boast high drought tolerance and can withstand temporary poor drainage.

Sunlight Requirements 

Yaupon hollies can thrive in full and partial sun. However, growth in full sun will produce more berries.

Water Requirements

While established yaupon holly trees can be drought tolerant and survive bouts of poor drainage, newly planted trees require proper weekly watering during the first year. Plan to give your tree supplemental watering during dry summers after establishment.

Trimming and Pruning Yaupon Hollies 

Professional tree trimming and pruning are essential to maintaining holly trees in North Texas. A Dallas tree surgeon can shape your plant into an aesthetically appealing structure and correctly prune it to allow more sunlight and air to reach the dense undergrowth, producing more spring blooms and a healthier tree. During the growing season, DFW homeowners should monitor the base of their yaupon holly as they tend to sucker and form thickets. Sprouts from roots need to be pruned two to three times per year to maintain curb appeal.

Tree Nutrition and Fertilization 

Slow-release fertilizers will be your best option when it comes to providing your yaupon holly tree with the nutrition it needs for optimal tree health. Professional fertilizer applications can be made any time of the year, but doing so in spring and fall will enable better growth and root development. TreeNewal’s slow-release fertilizer blend will continue to feed your plant throughout the season. Our ISA Certified Arborists can assess your plant’s growing conditions and soil to formulate a custom blend fertilizer tailored to the specific health needs of your plants. Call (817) 592-6846 for a consultation today!

Tree Pests, Fungi, and Diseases

North Texas yaupon holly trees have few problems with diseases and pests known to plague other hollies. While they develop good resistance to most tree diseases, fungi, and insects when properly maintained, there are a few tree problems to watch out for. Some of these are:

  • Leaf spots
  • Chlorosis
  • Sooty mold
  • Powdery mildew
  • Root rot
  • Spider mites
  • Aphids
  • Leaf miners
  • Scale insects

DFW homeowners can keep these problems at bay by keeping their trees on a prevention and maintenance plan prescribed by a TreeNewal ISA Certified Arborist.

Dallas Tree Care Services 

TreeNewal is a full-service sustainable tree care company offering residential and commercial tree services in Dallas, Argyle, Denton, Fort Worth, Flower Mound, Southlake, and Westlake. Our Certified Arborists and DFW tree care specialists are committed to protecting customer investments and promoting North Texas tree health and sustainability. Contact us at (817) 592-6846 to learn more about how we can improve your landscape!