A Guide to Taking Care of Holly Trees

Hollies are magnificent trees and are used for a wide variety of things. It is used as a shrub, specimen plant and even a living garden screen or enclosure. To give your plant the best chance in life, you must know how to properly care for a holly.

Things to consider
One of the first things to consider is that most holly trees are deciduous, so you will need a male and a female plant for fertilization. Some types of holly are self-pollinating, but most of them require both to fertilize.

If you only have one or the other, the holly will still flower but won’t produce fruit (otherwise known as ‘berries’).

Selecting a good area for the holly to be planted is essential and size and nearby objects should be considered. A mature plant will grow very large and should not be planted to close to the house or utility services. A good place to locate it would be an area with full sun or partial shade.

When you have the holly and you’re ready to plant, the nest step is to prepare the landscape or area of planting.

Preparing the site
Firstly, you will want to dig a hole (where it is to be planted) about as deep as the plant container in which it comes in. The width should be around twice that of the container and can sometimes be larger. If you run into a roots of an old tree, you should consider stump removal.

Planting the tree
Once you have dug the hole and it looks ok you should perform the following steps:

Helpful tips:
Use a rake to scrap the inside of the hole, especially on clay soils as this will helps the rots to spread out more.

It is also a good idea to space the plants out if you wish to plant two of the same variety. About 100 feet will be sufficient and will improve pollination, which in turn will yield more berries.

Once the shrub is planted, water the plant and fill any sinking soil patches.

Add some mulch to the top (about 4 inches) but make sure you keep it away from the trunk.

Aftercare and maintenance
In the winter, apply some slow release fertilizer but be careful not to overdo it (hollies react bad to overfeeding).

In the spring, add a thick layer of seasoned compost for the plant to soak up nutrients.

In late winter, the tree needs pruning after the berries are ripe.

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