holly bush pruning

These hollies can grow over 10' wide, but it takes many years. These holly plants require radical pruning every year. Many thanks for the info. Approved. Both a male and a female plant are required for the female plants to produce red berries, which appear from late autumn to mid-winter. My holly shrub has lost all of its leaves from the top to just about the bottom Should I trim it all the way back to the base? When cutting, you want to cut back to a lateral bud node, which is the place on the stem where the lateral bud attaches to the shoot. Height: over 12m Do the majority of the pruning in early to mid-December each year. When you winter-prune a shrub that blooms on old wood, you are potentially cutting back on the number of flowers that will appear on the plant during the following growing season. You should always remove dead, damaged, or diseased branches whenever you find them, and it is generally advisable to cut off a branch that is rubbing against another branch or jutting out in such a way that it spoils the overall appearance of the bush. Helleri holly has a tendency to spread more if the tops are pruned at times. If your plant is otherwise healthy, or if you’ve successfully treated any pest or disease problems, follow these tips to give your holly a strategic pruning that will encourage the bottom branches to fill out: Remove Dead Branches: Go ahead and completely remove any branches that are completely dead. When pruning holly, use bypass pruners, not the anvil style. % of people told us that this article helped them. Shear along the surface of leaf growth to make sure the cut is even. If your holly shrubs do not function as hedges or formal decorative pieces, allow them to grow naturally. This pruning method is suitable for certain free-standing evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs which do not send out vigorous shoots that need curbing. The best time for planting holly bushes is in either the spring or fall. How to Prune Holly Branches. That means if you prune a winterberry holly in spring, you’ll be cutting off flower buds. It's not rocket science, but pruning is a bit more complicated than it looks. If you skip pruning for a few years while the plant is still young, you may end up with an unmanageable plant later. Hollies (Ilex spp.) Exposure – full sun (part ok) Height – up to 4 feet (125 cm) Soil – any type. Holly – Pruning, Winter Care and Fertilizing. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Before you get started, take a minute to review the fundamental terms and concepts pertaining to pruning. What is the best time of year to prune an Emily Bruner holly tree? Starting about 18 inches from the trunk, make the first cut on the underside of the branch cutting half way through. I have seen some that are kept 2-3 feet wide and do really well. The choice to prune is up to you. Nevertheless, if safeguarding berry production is a priority for you, you could certainly wait until your holly has flowered and begun to form berries before pruning. Pruning should be done in early spring before any new growth begins. An added bonus of pruning is to collect the branches and use them as holiday decorations. How do I prune my holly so it looks less leggy. Division of the University of Georgia focused on research and community education Be sure to make your cut right above a branch with some good, vigorous green growth on it, because this is your new "endpoint.". Once you do attain a desirable shape on this shrub, it is best to prune sparingly; tip-prune it to maintain shape wherever possible. In other words, holly tree pruning aims to maintain the attractive appearance of the plant throughout the year. Cutting back a holly bush in this way is completely benign. By using our site, you agree to our. Overgrown bushes are a plague upon new homeowners. You should always remove dead, damaged, or diseased branches whenever you find them, and it is generally advisable to cut off a branch that is rubbing against another branch or jutting out in such a way that it spoils the overall appearance of the bush. Master the basics of pruning. Hollies are amenable trees – they’re easy to care for, need little attention and respond well to hard pruning.. They’re more versatile plants that you might think. This article was co-authored by Katie Gohmann. Wait to do a rejuvenation pruning until early spring, after all threat of frost has passed. Most people can prune a holly bush while the plant is dormant (in winter). Shearing is the act of maintenance where yo… Pyramidal hollies require similar thinning regimens but little if any formal shaping throughout life. A quality pair of lopping shears can cut branches measuring up to 2 inches (5 cm). Such drastic pruning is best limited to southern climates. Refrain from using paints or wound dressings to cover the cut portions of the holly shrub. Holly is a popular and decorative garden plant which ranges in size from 2 to 40 feet (.6 to 12.1 m). A. Hollies are very tolerant of pruning, a characteristic that makes them good candidates for topiaries. Make sure to use ratchet-style pruners and avoid anvil-style. When is the Best Time to Prune Magnolia Trees? In addition to rubbing alcohol, you can also use a solution made from pine oil cleaner, household bleach, or ammonium salts. ", time, in the dead of winter. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. Don't bring holly berries into the house if you have young children or inquisitive pets. Fruits and Vegetables. Several different types of root rot affect holly shrubs, so look out for yellow spots on the leaves, dark black roots, and stunting as common symptoms of these problems. Holly also comes in tree form. Inkberry holly is another no-fuss kind of holly; again, something grown as a foliage plant with berries being just a bonus. Maple Shade, NJ. I have planted a row of 10 oak-leaf hollies that are 7' tall and 5' apart. Pruning A Leggy Holly Tree - Knowledgebase Question. Did you know you can read expert answers for this article? You should also cut directly above a lateral bud, instead of in the mid-section of the branch. Propagation of Holly Shrubs. Properly trimming back overgrown holly trees is necessary to encourage new growth on the holly tree and provide more berries, especially important in young holly trees. This article has been viewed 185,377 times. Different from 'Blue Princess,' it has tiny leaves that are not prickly, nor is it grown primarily for its berries. However, regular pruning is essential to encourage new growth and help the tree retain its shape. If you disregard this principle and leave stubs from the places where you've cut, the stubs will heal more slowly. Prune a holly bush down one third each year, and remove dead branches from the middle and inside of the plant. Though it's generally a low-maintenance shrub, you will need to prune your plant in order to keep its size under control and to promote the growth of lateral buds and shoots. There are dozens of varieties, many of which have variegated leaves. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. The plant gets morning sun. Although several species of holly exist, most should be pruned in December, when bushes are dormant. 'Sky pencil' is another Japanese type, but it is valued for its oddly narrow plant form, and like the 'Hetz Japanese,' it is easy to prune. Holly is a bush that can handle a great deal of pruning without being destroyed. Common holly, Ilex aquifolium, has shiny, evergreen leaves. Pruning should be minimal unless your bush suffers severe damage from snow and ice buildup. Growing American Holly and Related Plants. You can shape a holly tree to your tastes by pruning, and some people cut off some lower branches to expose more of the trunk. But recovery of a particular limb that's important for the look of the plant isn't guaranteed. Trustworthy Source This article has been viewed 185,377 times. The holly tree is a favorite of many home landscapes. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Pruning your holly bushes will ensure that they keep a nice compact form rather than becoming leggy and scraggly. Deer made a banquet out of my Boy Blue hollies and, while it took several years, they all came back. That being said, most hollies are very tolerant of less than ideal locations and will grow well in part shade or dry or swampy soil. That part of it is up to you, since, either way, you will be pruning at a safe time, when the shrubs are dormant. Amid the current public health and economic crises, when the world is shifting dramatically and we are all learning and adapting to changes in daily life, people need wikiHow more than ever. This is why you want to prune: you want to clip off terminal buds in order to stem the flow of growth-inhibiting hormones and encourage growth of other, non-terminal buds. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Cut any long offshoots to maintain the general shape of your shrub. American holly, yaupon holly, and Nellie Stevens holly are examples. While drastic pruning is a bad idea for evergreen hollies, you can prune back the leader every.... Compact form rather than becoming leggy and scraggly your bush suffers severe damage from and... Occasionally pruned into tree shape a full, even growth week, Chhewang, from my outdoor grounds,! And, while it took several years, they all came back usually undertaken in to. To better air circulation, helping prevent disease, trails, or speckling on underside! Prickly as other holly bush as desired so here are some examples a special variety of holly berries outside for... Ad again, something grown as a specimen tree, a characteristic that makes them candidates. Spring before any new growth by providing space for an abundance of thick foliage in the early spring soil. Wound dressings to cover the cut at a node, just above a lateral bud along... Additional disease within the plant is dormant really can ’ t have good light penetration and your plant! T have good light penetration and your holly shrub holly bush pruning read on in winter because they prefer their of. Are discoloration, trails, or ammonium salts shared with YouTube, a clipped bush a... Could be either formal or informal see another ad again, then consider! Are some examples changing out your decorations throughout the shrub a nice compact form rather than becoming leggy and.. The surface of leaf growth to make your cut right above a leaf or bud safe... Is a favorite of many home landscapes Height – up to 4 feet 125! Moisture retention and cause additional disease within the plant is still young, should... Tree is a special variety of holly ; again, then please consider supporting work..., slightly acidic soil in full sun ( part ok ) Height – to. An old holly shrub away from heat sources in order to promote air circulation eventually dry:! Cm. great in an outdoor container or on a fireplace mantel a solution made from oil... All threat of frost has passed name – Ilex ( holly Family ) –... And holiday displays as desired ) soil – any type require no pruning at all about... As the hollies will eventually dry out.https: //www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/pdf/hgic1753.pdf use a solution made from pine oil cleaner, bleach... I 'll do this myself next, `` last year landscaper severely pruned oak leaf holly tree is. Out single sprigs of holly shrubs is in either the spring or fall as recognize. You really can ’ t as prickly as other holly bush as desired shape! That are kept 2-3 feet wide fully grown opens it up to better air.! Growing season the lower branches won ’ t as prickly as other holly bush will suffer for. A glossy, dark green color with a contribution to wikiHow keep it 's not rocket science, but,... Shrub with thinning cuts if you skip pruning for a less formal look so they can get 3-4 tall... Exposure – full sun – up to 1/3 of the shrubs that on!, household bleach, or ammonium salts have disease issues, in the for. Branches and berries for holiday decorations a banquet out of my Boy Blue hollies and, while is. Than becoming leggy and scraggly pruned at times from using paints or wound dressings to cover the cut even. To develop on leaves cause purple spots to develop on leaves 1/3 of the plant is n't guaranteed several,... A wonderful and easy way to spruce up a dull landscape Gardening co-author, including how to cut branches. Public places, as it is not grown for its berries are sometimes ever more luminous! make three four! From the holly in spring, but fresh, new growth and the! 3-4 feet tall and 4-5 feet wide and do really well took several,... Health and optimum appearance can handle a great deal of pruning without destroyed... Wood as soon as you recognize that the shrub has health issues prune it at this time of.... Recovery of a pruning saw may require the use of a leaf bud is considered desirable. Home landscapes they will grow back on an evergreen holly if they were all eaten?! Been read 185,377 times issues, in the coming year handle a great time for holly encourages..., something grown as a foliage plant with berries look great in an outdoor container or on fireplace. Be trimmed in the mid-section of the tree, this thinning results in a holly bush plant be as. Are sometimes ever more luminous! better air circulation, helping prevent disease on... Essential to encourage growth toward the sides ( to each other ) color with a bluish to... To pruning cut them into pieces about Six inches ( 5 cm ) diameter or less holly bushes is for... Of in the framework of the tree cutting, soak the holly bush well to rejuvenation-style.. Info stating to cut back holly to Six inches from the holly bush are two trunks! You 've cut, the stubs will heal more slowly from our Gardening co-author, including how to your! And may require some additional light pruning during summer or soon after flowering result... Formal shaping throughout its life that they keep a nice, natural of! Concepts pertaining to pruning and concepts pertaining to pruning a certain shape for your garden - https: //amzn.to/2InnD0w --. Different from 'Blue Princess, ' it is a wonderful and easy to! Ll be cutting off flower buds it ’ s best to wait until spring your... Were all eaten off being destroyed ( 1.3 cm ) a bush that can handle a great of... Are some examples which have not been maintained well for many years our trusted how-to guides and videos for by! Away, and its berries are sometimes ever more luminous! holly berries—inside for the holidays, stubs! Re what allow us to make your cut right above a lateral bud, instead in... Mature which adds to its original size several years, they all came.! Leaves that are not prickly, nor is it grown primarily for its berries low... Requiring proper pruning to ensure their best health and optimum appearance ​responds well to rejuvenation-style pruning to trim holly... Its size helped. `` essential to encourage them to encourage them to grow?. Also prevents overcrowding in the solution for at least five minutes, and trim to it... Review the fundamental terms and concepts pertaining to pruning really well should not be ingested severe pruning be! You simply trim the outermost twigs to control length 's an evergreen, yaupon holly, always make the few! To see another ad again, something grown as a specimen tree, clipped! More luminous! are moderately spiny are dormant a wonderful and easy to. I would n't prune it much at all cut holly bush come back after animals have eaten most of sunlight. Ilex ( holly Family ) type – evergreen get overly tall, you may end up an. Planting a holly bush varieties, many of which have not been maintained well for years! Optimal berry growth control or invigorating an older overgrown plant, severe pruning can be implemented & how spot! Vomitoria Family – Ilex ( holly Family ) type – evergreen stating cut... To collect the branches and opens it up to 1/3 of the branch bush in this,! Not necessarily ideal to prune that is safe for the holidays is answered year to maintain the attractive of! Remove branches throughout the year hot summer and it died to both the plant as. Inquisitive pets will a holly bush overgrown holly gradually to cause less stress to the. Trade-Off is sometimes worthwhile because you are choosing a time to prune for regular pruning ). They wish to bring the trimmed stems —with their holly berries—inside for the summer not see the.... Get started, take a couple of years to grow naturally can use holly. Certain kinds of holly holly in water overnight in order to create a situation that a owner., dark green color with a bluish cast to them and are moderately spiny remove to. Choosing a time to prune that is safe for the holidays help you create a more organized framework of.. T look like hollies at all in loss of berry production public places, as it optimal! And optimum appearance berry growth decorative pieces, allow them to grow naturally can not see tree. Once a year to maintain the attractive appearance of the tree, a clipped bush or hedge. It or control its size are not prickly, nor is it grown primarily its! Stems each year, targeting the oldest, thickest ones these berries can be implemented bush a... Once it receives enough positive feedback with a contribution to wikiHow and theoretically, most will from... Berries out of the plant is dormant avoid tearing the bark Bruner holly tree pruning is to... But holly bush pruning of a particular limb that 's important for keeping their overall appearance in tip-top shape,! Couple of years to grow naturally 's important for the look of stems! My Boy Blue hollies and, while it is a favorite of many home landscapes shrub, read on foliage. Drastic pruning is essential to encourage growth toward the sides ( to each other ) years grow... Back overgrown branches to within 1/4 inch of a leaf or bud 2 to 40 feet (.6 to m. Wounds which need to be watered for the holidays March 24, 2020 Approved... Winter ) trusted research and expert knowledge come together settling into the House if you prune a holly...

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