The spiny evergreen leaves and bright red berries of the American holly are a staple in Christmas wreaths, but this small understory tree is also a food source for songbirds, wild turkeys, quail, white-tailed deer, squirrels and honeybees. The berries are available September through February, when other dining choices are limited. The white wood is used for carving and cabinetwork. The Cherokee chewed holly berries to treat upset stomachs and made bark and leaf teas to treat other illnesses, but the berries are considered poisonous and are not used in modern herbal medicine. The berries were also used to make a red dye.