I had a 12 foot high Foster X Holly planted over two months ago. It looked fine for about a week, then it stared dropping about 60% of its green leaves and the berries turned brown. For the past two months, I have been watering it on a regular basis and using root stimulant at a prescribed rate. I have noticed some green twig shoots and recently some new leaves. Do you think this tree can restore all or most of its leaves, and if yes, about how much longer? Bob Charleston, SC 2 May 2016
Foster X Holly Tree
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
A regular watering schedule is needed in the first entire year of planting a Fosters Holly to help it develop a good strong root system.
Make sure the soil is draining and that the tree is not being over watered. The roots require good aeration. Moist but not soaked in the first month, topsoil should dry slightly between waterings.
Verify the planting of the tree, digging the planting hole 2 to 3 times wider then the root ball is very important to allow the roots the room to grow and take up moisture and nutrition.
Make sure the root ball sits at or slightly above soil level.
Tamp down the soil after filling to make sure no air pockets remain.
Make sure you are watering deeply from the trunk out to the drip line.
Mulch the tree with organic mulch and organic compost out to the canopy keeping it from the trunk of the tree.
New growth is a good sign and you will need to continue to watch and care for the new planting.
Most reputable garden centers or greenhouse will guarantee a new planting for the first year, if your tree does not survive.