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What Is the State Tree of Delaware? Facts & FAQ

American Holly

The state tree of Delaware is the American Holly, one of the most popular trees in the world. Gardeners heavily cultivate it for use during the holiday season, when it is a traditional and highly popular decoration. If you were surprised to learn that American Holly is the state tree of Delaware, keep reading as we dive in to find out why it was chosen and when.

trees & plants divider What Is American Holly?

American Holly is a tough and durable broadleaf evergreen that produces clumps of bright red berries. It’s native to the Appalachian Mountains and can withstand temperatures as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a slow growth rate and takes time to reach its maximum height of about 50 feet.

American Holly
Image Credit: Pixabay

When Did American Holly Become the State Tree of Delaware?

Delaware named American Holly its state tree on May 1, 1939, though there doesn’t seem to be an official reason for this. That said, many people regard it as one of the most important trees in the region. The people of Delaware likely admired its extreme durability and thick dark-green leaves and red berries during a time when most other trees look dead. It could also be the tree’s strong ties to Christmas and the holiday season that caused the people of Delaware to want it to be the state tree.

Why Is Holly So Popular?

The American people’s interest in American Holly began long before the United States existed. People in England were extremely fond of English Holly, which is similar to American Holly. People used English Holly as decorations for celebrations since before Christmas existed, and its popularity shows no signs of slowing down. Besides its ornamental value, many people enjoy its fragrant flowers in spring and its ability to create privacy.

American Holly
Image Credit: Pixaay

Other Interesting Facts About Delaware

  • It was the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution on December 7, 1787, which is how it earned its nickname, “The First State.”
  • The state flower of Delaware is the Peach Blossom, and the state bird is the Blue Hen.
  • The Delaware state wildlife animal is the Grey Fox, a unique and primitive species that might be more than 7 million years old.
  • The stonefly is the Delaware state macroinvertebrate because it indicates excellent water quality.
  • Greenwich Loam is the Delaware state soil because you can easily find it in any county.
  • Milk was designated the official state drink of Delaware in 1983.
  • Second-grade school students helped make the ladybug Delaware’s state insect in 1974.

trees & plants divider Summary

The state tree of Delaware is American Holly, and the state designated it as such on May 1, 1939. However, there doesn’t appear to be an official reason for selecting it, though it is one of the most popular trees in America and is native to the Delaware region. People may also have chosen it due to its strong ties to Christmas or because of its toughness and durability. No matter the reason, American Holly is an amazing tree that you should stop and look at if you are in the area.

Featured Image Credit: damann, Shutterstock


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