Holly bushes are dying
I have 3 holly bushes that seem to be dying. They were hardy last summer. I changed the bedding from mulch to stone. I placed a fabric weed block down and then covered it with decorative stone. Could this have caused a problem? Would it help if I were to trim back the bushes? The leaves are brown and falling off and I do not see any new growth. The bushes are about 10 years old and they have been healthy and hearty until now.
We have been seeing several reports of holly bushes suffering winter damage following this past winter. The extreme cold hit the majority of the United States.
I don't think the removal of mulch to rock has much to do with your plant condition. It sounds like classic winter damage.
The best way to proceed this spring would be to trim away the dead material and wait to see what leafs out.
Here are a few links for you.