Once winter sets in, your gardens don’t necessarily have to be dreary, bare, or void of any vitality or color. Once the leaves fall for the season, shrubs and evergreen trees with red berries and fruits show up to become the stars of your yard or garden.
The bright red fruit contrasts very nicely to the white snow, and they look lovely used as holiday decorations throughout December. It’s very common to cut them from branches of shrubs or trees and incorporate them into your decorations. You can plant shrubs and trees that produce long-lasting red berries and evergreen leaves. They appear in the fall and look nice all winter, eventually taking over the evergreen foliage. The festive colors continue throughout the season without dropping their leaves.
Also, the shrubs and evergreen trees with red berries also work double duty and serve as a food source for your birds in the autumn and winter months. If you’re curious as to what is available for evergreen trees with red berries or shrubs, read on. We’re going to outline several great choices below.
1. Bearberry Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster Dammeri)
This is an evergreen shrub with red berries that gives you white flowers, green foliage, and red berries all at the same time to mimic the colors of the Italian flag. The effect is very light and pretty, and they offer a fine pattern and texture. The leaves are mid-green, small, and oval shaped, and the blooms are on the smaller side too with five rounded petals in white coloring with purple anthers. The berries are a bold and bright red. You get a very dense tree with a trailing growth habit, and it grows well as edging, on slopes, or as a ground cover due to how it grows. It’s also a great addition to your rock gardens.
To keep this evergreen tree with red berries happy, plant it in zones five to eight, and it requires full sun to partial shade for the light. The fruit will ripen in the fall and cling on throughout the winter months, and it gets up to a foot tall with a four to six foot spread at full maturity. The soil should be well-drained clay, loam, sand, or chalk with a pH that ranges from mildly alkaline to mildly acidic. It’s very tolerant to drought once it establishes.
2. Chilean Guava (Ugni Molinae)
When you buy this evergreen shrub with red berries, you get three things for the price of one in the form of red berries, pretty flowers, and evergreen foliage. The leaves are elliptical, gossy, and a darker green hue. In spring, you’ll get clusters of very fragrant, pink and white, bell-shaped flowers that hang on the branches.
They will keep blooming through the summer months. The flowers eventually turn into dark red berries that are ½ inch in diameter. You can turn them into jam or eat them raw. The foliage will also have red blushes in fall, and it’s a fantastic plant for warm gardens. It works well in borders, hedges, and containers in the Mediterranean region.
Chilean Guava thrives when you plant it in zones 9 and 10 in partial shade to full sun. The fruit will start to ripen in the fall and continue on into winter, and it will get between three and six feet tall and wide at full maturity. The soil should be medium fertile and drain well, and it likes to have a chalk, clay, loam, or sand-based soil with a pH ranging from mildly acidic to mildly alkaline, and it tolerates drought very well.
3. English Holly (Ilex Aquifolium)
The queen of evergreen trees with red berries is holly, and you can train it to grow in shrub or tree form. The red clusters of berries will ripen just in time for the Christmas season to roll around, and you’ll find them growing at the tips of branches and mixed in with the iconic foliage this plant produces. The hard, spiny, and glossy leaves are a very decorative aspect by itself too. You may need a male and female plant to get the berries to show, but it’s well worth it.
These plants naturally grow in a pyramidal habit, and there are more well-known cultivars out there like Blue Boy or Red Beauty. It’s a great foundation or specimen plant, and this evergreen tree with red berries attracts droves of birds. It offers color and structure all year-round, and it mixes well with other plants to form informal hedges. You can adapt it to do well in more formal designs, but this requires a decent amount of ongoing maintenance.
Plant your holy in zones 6 to 10 to keep it happy, and make sure that you put it in a space that gets full sun to partial shade. The fruit will start to ripen in the late fall and early winter months, and it gets between 6 and 10 feet tall and up to 5 feet wide when it finishes growing. Wild plants can easily get up to 80 feet tall or more. Place your holly in a well-drained but medium-rich soil that that clay, loam, or chalk-based with a neutral to acidic pH level.
4. Evergreen Dogwood (Cornus Capitata)
Evergreen dogwood is a big addition to our evergreen trees with red berries list. It’s too exotic to fit nicely into the holiday theme, but it’s a rarer plant that you can have grace your yard. The foliage is mid-green, elliptical, and arched, and it looks a little like the foliage you’d see on peach trees, but not as dense. The blooms are creamy white and round, and they offer very showy bracts that look like petals dotting the branches from spring to late summer.
This dogwood produces bright red, large berries that hang on red stems, and you can pick them and safely eat them right from the tree. The birds also adore these berries, and it’s a very tropical looking shrub or tree that you don’t want to miss out on. It thrives when you plant it in coastal, Mediterranean, or tropical garden settings.
For the best results, plant your evergreen tree with red berries in zones eight or nine in a spot that gets partial shade to full sun. The fruit will start to ripen in the fall months into the winter, and it can easily reach between 20 and 40-feet tall and wide. This tree prefers to be in fertile and organically rich soil that drains well and as a clay, loam, or sand base. The pH range should fall between neutral to mildly acidic.
5. Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
A very familiar plant in hedgerows, hawthorn trees make a pretty addition to gardens because it produces pretty red berries that stick around all fall and well into the winter months. It’s a pretty landscape tree that provides berries that will draw in rabbits, squirrels, birds, and deer. You can also safely eat the berries as long as you cook them before you do so. The berries also have a very strong medicinal value to them, especially when it comes to promoting heart health. They also work very well if you reduce them down to make a sauce, wine, fruit leather, or add them to an apple jelly.
The Winter King cultivar is one of the main trees that display red berries on the branches when the rest of the trees are bare. They bloom from mid to late springtime and make a nice addition to your yard. You can easily grow them in zones five to nine in almost any soil type as long as it drains well. They need full sun to reach the 15 to 30 foot mature height.
6. Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina Domestica)
Heavenly bamboo is a very pretty ornamental evergreen tree with red berries that many people skip over when they’re looking for something to plant. They produce big clusters or berries after the tiny white flowers bloom in the spring and fade by midsummer. As the berries turn from green to a bold red hue, the foliage will start to change too. The arching and pinnate leaves are green during the early summer months, but as the seasons fade to fall, they start turning purple and red.
Heavenly bamboo is the plant you want if you want to get ever-changing and continuous chromatic colors in your garden or balcony. It’s a very tough cultivar that is low maintenance and it’ll adapt readily. You can easily grow it in hedges or borders, as a foundation plant, or even under trees in woodland gardens. It’s also very pretty situated in a Japanese garden, but all of the plants are toxic, so be wary as to who can get at it.
To keep this plant happy, plant it in zones six to nine in an area that gets partial shade to full sun. It will ripen in the fall and winter months to put on a show, and it gets between four and eight feet tall and four feet wide. It needs medium-fertile soil that drains well with a chalk, clay, loam, or sand base. Also, keep the pH mildly acidic to mildly alkaline, and it’s tolerant of drought.
7. Japanese Skimmia (Skimmia Japonica)
Japanese Skimmia is a soft-looking, common evergreen shrub with red berries that does well in shade gardens. It has broad, dense, mid-green leaves in an oval shape that give off a nice scent. They form foliage mounds all year round, and they have a spreading growth habit. By mid spring, you should see thick and big clusters of pink and cream star-shaped flowers that will form fragrant and eye-catching plumes that rise above the greenery.
On the female plants, you’ll get flowers that give way to glossy and bright candy red berries that form thick groups. They stay on your plant until winter. You want to plant male cultivars nearby for the best look, especially in borders, slopes, banks, or hedges. They also do well in traditional and woodland gardens.
To keep this plant happy, plant it in zones six to eight in full shade or partial shade. The fruit ripens in the fall and stays on during the winter, and it gets between three and four feet tall and four to five feet wide. The soil should be moderately fertile and rich with hummus, and it needs to be kept consistently humid with well-drained chalk or loam-based soil. The pH levels should range from mildly acidic to mildly alkaline.
8. Korean Barberry (Berberis Koreana)
This evergreen tree with red berries is only evergreen in warmer climates, and it may drop some leaves where it freezes during the winter. Still, it produces bright red clusters of egg-shaped berries that hang down from the branches. The berries follow sunny bright yellow flowers that drape down too in the spring, and the leaves are a bright green color most of the year. They take on a maroon to russet shade with purple tones in the fall and winter months.
Even though they can drop some or all of their leaves in colder climates, this is a very cold-hardy evergreen tree with red berries. It’ll perk back up in the spring, and the branches will keep looking lovely with a reddish color and reaching spikes. It has a woodland, wild look to it, and it works well in cottage, informal, and traditional gardens as part of your hedges, borders, wind screens, or as foundation plantings.
Your Korean barberry is best planted in zones three to seven in partial shade or full sun. The fruit will ripen in the fall and winter months, and it gets between four and six tall and wide at full maturity. They require a well-drained clay, loam, or chalk-based soil that has a pH ranging from mildly alkaline to mildly acidic. This shrub is tolerant to drought.
9. Mountain Ash – Rowanberry (Sorbus aucuparia)
Offering bright red berries in the late summer and early winter months, this evergreen tree with red berries also produces white, frothy flowers in the spring months. The leaves turn a stunning shade of orange in the fall months, and this is a great addition to your autumn garden.
The mountain ash tree will produce masses of attractive fruits to lure birds in during the winter months, and these berries are very rich in vitamin C while having anti-inflammatory properties. You will need to freeze them before you use them for a few weeks, and they require a decent amount of sugar to counteract how bitter they taste. You can easily turn them into vinegar, jelly, wine, or a Turkish delight. In the right settings, this tree is very hardy, but they don’t tolerate extreme humidity or heat well. You can grow them in zones three to six, and they can top out at 30 feet high. They tolerate partial shade, and they need to be in a soil that drains well.
10. Peruvian Peppertree (Schinus Molle)
This is a very elegant evergreen tree with red berries that are edible. The branches have a pretty weeping habit, and they get covered in finely pinnate, light green leaves that look like fronds and move nicely in the wind. They have a very sophisticated texture to them, and they grow in a rounded shape on the crown that makes it a very valuable small tree. It forms clusters of green and yellow flowers in July and August.
The green berries that follow are ready for you to harvest by late December when they turn a brilliant red. This is also where the name comes into play as they have a peppery taste that makes a great substitute for black pepper. It’s an attractive plant to put in many types of gardens as a foundation or specimen plant, and the foliage is so delicate-looking and easy to trim down that it fits nicely at pool sides, in exotic gardens, or in formal settings.
To keep this evergreen tree with red berries happy and thriving, plant it in zones 8 to 12 in full sun or partial shade if you live in a very hot climate. The fruit will ripen in October to December, and they’ll stay throughout the winter if you don’t harvest them. It gets up to 26 feet tall and 20 feet wide at full maturity, but they’re usually smaller. Plant them in medium or poor oil with a sand, clay, or loam base and a pH range from mildly alkaline to mildly acidic.
11. Red Cushion Scarlet Firethorn (Pyracantha Coccinea ‘Red Cushion’)
The name says it all about this evergreen shrub with red berries. It is known for the spiked branches and a tidy, regular growth habit that fills in with stunning scarlet red berries in big clusters. Each has a flattened round shape that makes them look like tiny apples. It’s a huge bloomer too, and it produces tiny white flowers during the summer months that fade to the berries.
The foliage is a mid-green color, finely textured, and glossy due to the small and oval shape. They’re not too dense, but they’re a very lush green to set off both the flowers and fruits. It comes with a very temperate woodland personality to it, and it likes to grow in informal gardens as a wall shrub, as a foundation plant, or in hedges.
Grow it in zones six to nine in an area that gets partial shade to full sun. You’ll see flowers in early spring to early summer, and the berries hang on until the middle of the winter. It gets between three and four feet tall and four to five feet wide at full maturity. Plant it in a well-drained, medium-fertile soil with a chalk, clay, loam, or sand base. The pH should be mildly alkaline to mildly acidic, and it’s both heavy clay and drought tolerant.
12. Repens Aurea English Yew (Taxus Baccata ‘Repens Aurea’)
This is a conifer evergreen tree with red berries that is part of the yew genus, and it offers a few special features for your garden. It offers dense foliage that is bright green with a golden tinge, and it comes on pendulous and arching branches that spread out. It won’t bloom, but it does produce berry-like cones that are a pretty coral red hue. You will rarely get a large display, but they do look nice when they come in.
The overall effect you get is full of light and bright, and this is part of the reason why the Royal Horticultural Society gave it the Award of Garden Merit. It’s a cultivar that you will enjoy as a specimen plant in a rock garden, as a hedge tree, or arching over low walls in your yard. It works well in shady gardens.
Grow this plant in zones six to eight, and it can tolerate full shade, partial shade, or full sun. The fruit will ripen through the summer and into the fall months, and it gets between two and four feet tall and 6 to 15 feet wide at full maturity. It likes well-drained clay, loam, sand, or chalk-based soil that has a pH range of mildly acidic to alkaline.
13. Spotted Laurel (Aucuba Japonica)
When you see spotted laurel, you have to note that the name is misleading as this plant isn’t related to the Laurus family. The leaves are much softer and dark to light green with creamy yellow splotches. They’re oval and tend to bend, and they form a very dense and thick growth habit in a glossy green sheen. It produces purple flowers in the springtime that eventually give way to bright, glossy red berries with an oval shape on the female plants.
These berries seem to disappear and reappear in the foliage, and it produces a very pretty colorful display that lasts well through the spring months. It’s a very adaptable plant that you can grow as a foundation plant, in borders, hedges, or as a windscreen. It also works surprisingly well in a container on your patio.
Spotted Laurel is an evergreen tree with red berries that grows best planted in zones 6 to 10 in partial shade or full sun. The fruit will ripen in the late fall through the winter months, often hanging around until early spring. It gets 6 to 10 feet tall and up to 9 feet wide at full maturity, and it likes an organically rich soil that drains well. The pH should range from mildly acidic to mildly alkaline, and it’s tolerant of heavy clay soils.
14. Strawberry Tree (Arbutus Unedo)
The final evergreen tree with red berries on the list is the strawberry tree. This is different from the others on the list as they produce rounded, large fruits that ripen over the whole year. They go from yellow and green to bright red when they mature. So, they will share the branches with big clusters or urn-shaped, nodding cream-colored flowers that are very fragrant during the fall and winter months. The leaves are broad and mid-green, serrated and elliptical, and they point up while the strawberries hang underneath.
You can see green, cream, yellow, and red on this evergreen tree with red berries all at the same time, and you can train it to grow as a shrub or a tree. It’s perfect in coastal and Mediterranean gardens, but it also fits nicely in hedges, borders, and as a specimen or foundation plant in more informal gardens. The fruits are edible too.
Your strawberry tree will grow best planted in zones seven to nine in full sun or partial shade. The fruit will take all year to ripen, but it tends to turn red in the fall and winter months. It gets between 6 and 15 feet tall and wide at full maturity, and you want to plant it in well-drained but medium-fertile soil that is sand, clay, or loam-based with a neutral to acidic pH. As a bonus, this plant is very drought-tolerant.
These 14 evergreen trees with red berries are all great choices to add to your yard or garden. No matter if you’re looking for a large specimen, small one, or something with edible fruit, this list has everything you need. Ensure you follow the planting guidelines to get the tree in the best sunlight, soil, and planting zones to keep it happy. If you meet your tree needs, they should add pops of welcome color all year for years to come.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.