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English Holly Bushes

Q.I believe my male English Holly Bush has no hope for recovery. What do you think?

Zone Middletown, PA | Middletown0211@gmail.com added on June 27, 2018 | Answered

I believe my male English Holly Bush has no hope of recovery. It has very little leaves around the side and not much more on top. The main trunk of this bush has a large rot hole in it about a foot off of the ground. However, there is a significant new chute growing out of the main trunk at ground level. It’s about a foot tall. My instincts are to cut the entire bush down to expose that new chute to give it a fighting chance. I’ve attaches a few pictures. Are my instincts correct?

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Answered on June 28, 2018

I agree with your strategy. Make sure to fertilize after the severe pruning. Any idea how the large hole happened? In future, pruning should remove the oldest branches to the ground and not just the growth on the outside. Repeated trimmings of outer growth lead to dense shading of the interior and the dying out of branches. Pruning should let light and air reach the interior which improves overall plant health and aesthetics.

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