Trees that Bear Red Berries in Winter
When fall turns the corner into winter, home landscapes can become a bit bleak. To break the monotony of leafless trees against a white, snowy backdrop, trees that bear red berries are quite welcome in many residential gardens. Some also provide a source of food for birds during the winter and of holiday decorations for the gardener.
American holly (Ilex opaca) is a small evergreen tree that produces red berries in the fall that remain on the tree through the winter. Drought-tolerant and generally disease-resistant, American holly is a low-maintenance tree that pays off big with high ornamental value in the winter. Hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 5 through 9, American holly trees thrive when grown in full sun or partial shade.
European Mountain Ash
Native to Europe and Asia, the European mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia) is a medium-sized deciduous tree in the rose family. It is the most widely cultivated mountain ash species, according to agriculturists with North Dakota State University. This is no doubt because of the highly ornamental nature of the European mountain ash, with small white flowers that give way to bright red berries that persist well into winter. European mountain ash is hardy to zone 3.
The hawthorn (Crataegus spp) is a small tree in the rose family. Depending upon variety, the berries can be quite large and appear in varying shades of red. 'Lavelle,' a popular variety, produces orange-red berries that last until January. 'Winter King' is even more spectacular in the winter with its 1/2-inch red berries set against silver bark.
- Fairfax County Public Schools: American Holly
- North Dakota State University: European Mountain Ash
- The Seattle Times: Turning to Ash
- Hort.net: Crataegus viridis 'Winter King' L.
- “The Gardener’s Guide to Planting and Growing Trees"; Michael Buffin; 2007
Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.