Q.My Sky Pencil Hollies Are Outrageously Tall, 12-14 Feet And They Spread Instead Of Staying Compact And Columnar At The Top.
I’ve had 4 pencil hollies growing on the south very tall solid brick south side of my home for the last 18 years or so. They break up the solid wall nicely. The last time I trimmed them 5-6 months ago I took 2-3 feet off the top of some and it didn’t hurt a thing. The biggest problem is that they branch out at the top and up the sides. If I trimmed them every 3 months they would look better but I don’t always have the time. What is the best way to trim them? Should I let new stems grow up or just keep leaves closely groomed on old growth. It’s always been a chore to trim them so I wonder if it’s worth it.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Once you trim them, you can't stop. This will be a constant process, but you will want to do so during winter dormancy, when the growth slows down to avoid the shrub losing its notable shape.
Here is an article that will help: