Ilex opaca

American Holly                                        


Arbor Harbor, 78 Sun Lane, Millersville PA


Len Eiserer


This tree is among the largest American Hollies in Lancaster County and, although not officially measured, may be as large as the state champion.   The trunk divides at 20 inches high, however, making comparisons difficult.


The Lancaster's Woodward Hills holly (see separate entry), as measured in 2010, had a trunk circumference of 84 inches, a height of 47 feet, and a spread of 31 feet -- for a point total of 139.  (


The state champion holly at Indian Steps Museum in York County may now be dying back, but in 2018 it measured 90 inches in trunk circumference, 66 feet in height, and 36 feet in spread -- for a point total of 165.  This tree was once estimated to be 300 years old.  (


The Arbor Harbor tree in 2019 had a trunk circumference of 100 inches (measured 20 inches above ground, before the branching), a height of about 55 feet, and a spread of 36 feet -- its point total would be 164.   This tree may be approaching 100 years old; an aerial photograph taken 60 years ago shows the tree to be 30-40 years old at most.


Two other smaller but still large hollies are adjacent to this tree.  One of these is single-trunked and has a circumference of about 84 inches.


This amazing species is the largest of all 15 native hollies in the United States, and also is perhaps the largest among the world's 480 holly species.


[The second to last photo shows the three hollies at Arbor Harbor, with the largest being in the middle.  The last picture is an aerial photo taken in 1959; only two of the hollies are seen, and the one of present focus is close to the sidewalk and nearest to the center of the house's front.]