Red Berry Tree Varieties

Written by amber kelsey
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Red Berry Tree Varieties
English holly trees bear red berries. (Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Red berry trees can add a welcome burst of colour to your autumn and winter landscapes. Select your red berry tree varieties according to the plant's mature size, bloom time, lighting needs and potential usage. Only buy berry trees appropriate for your USDA hardiness zone, to ensure that they can survive your winter weather.

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English Holly

English holly (Ilex aquifolium) is a broadleaved evergreen that features deep green, spiny-toothed leaves that have a shiny, leathery texture. The fragrant, non-showy white flowers appear in May, followed by red berries that ripen in the autumn and last through much of the winter. Native to Europe, Africa and Asia, this tree typically winters well in USDA hardiness zones 7 to 9. Mature trees reach between 30 and 50 feet in height, with spreads ranging from 15 to 25 feet. English holly trees prefer well-drained, average soils in fully sunny to partially shady locations that protect them from winter winds. Watch trees for holly leaf miner, leaf spot, powdery mildew and leaf drop. Use English holly trees as foundation plantings, specimen plants or tall hedges.


Dogwood trees (Cornus elliptica) bloom in June and July, featuring non-showy, yellow-green flowers surrounded by white flower bracts. The flowers give way to berries that mature red. The shiny green leaves turn purple shades in the winter. These broadleaved evergreens range from 15 to 20 feet in height, with spreads between 12 and 15 feet. This Chinese native winters well in USDA hardiness zones 7 to 9. Few pests or diseases affect these trees. Dogwoods prefer sandy, well-drained soils, in partially shady to fully sunny locations. Plant dogwood trees in woodland gardens, shrub borders or bird gardens.

Red Mulberry

The red mulberry (Morus rubra) naturally occurs in the woodlands and bottomlands of the southeastern United States. Red mulberries bloom in March and April, featuring green flower spikes that give way to red or purplish-red berries. These edible berries can be eaten raw or used in wines, jams or jellies. This tree also bears red-brown bark and deep green leaves that turn yellow in autumn. Winter hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8, this deciduous tree prefers well-drained, moist soils, in fully sunny locations. Red mulberry trees reach up to 50 feet in height, with spreads up to 40 feet in width. Watch out for borers, whiteflies, root rot and bacterial blight. Because the berries are messy and can cause stains, plant dogwoods in areas away from your home.

Chinese Holly

Chinese hollies (Ilex cornuta) can be trained as small trees that reach up to 25 feet in height and 15 feet in spread. These Chinese natives generally winter well in USDA hardiness zones 7 to 9. This broadleaved evergreen features green leaves and fragrant, non-showy, white blossoms that bloom in May. The flowers give way to red berries that persist throughout the winter. Chinese hollies prefer fully sunny to partially shady positions. This holly species tolerates heat and drought conditions, but must have well-drained soils. Holly leaf miner, tar spot, leaf scorch and spider mites are potential problems. Plant Chinese hollies as hedges or foundation plantings.

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