English Holly Bushes
Q.

Overgrown English Holly Bushes

Zone Prattville, AL | bradwalters1 added on November 17, 2016 | Answered

I have many overgrown English holly bushes, some that have grown to over 10 feet tall. Is it ok to cut them down to 12 inches off the ground? Will they survive and grow back? I was quoted over $600 to have them trimmed!

A.
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Alisma
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on November 17, 2016

English holly should be pruned more lightly, according to the instructions in the following articles:
https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/details?plantid=6332
https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=549

The best technique is to remove about 1/3 of the total size of the plant at any one time, so it will take several years to get them down to size. But you can gradually improve their appearance. You can shorten branches and/or remove some branches to thin out the holly.

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