Winter Damage On Holly

//Winter Damage On Holly

This is classic winter damage. It usually happens as a combination of cold temperatures, wind and sun reflected off of the snow. The plant might recover, so wait at least a month to see what happens. The holly will drop all the burned leaves (you can already see that it’s doing this) and there may be some die-back on the top branches. Wait until mid-May to do any pruning. At that point you’ll see new growth from the stems that are still alive. Prune off any stems that are still brown in mid-May.

It would be a good idea to remove the lawn in a circle around this plant, and apply a layer of composted manure and a light application of an organic fertilizer. This will also make it easier to mow the grass around this holly. An inch of mulch over that compost will help keep the water in over the summer while the holly recovers. Next fall, in October, spray the plants with an anti-dessicant product to help protect the leaves.

By | 2016-02-27T22:38:25-08:00 February 27th, 2016|Shrubs|9 Comments

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  1. Gayle K January 13, 2023 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    I have two 5ft tall holly trees. I has been very cold, then warmer temperatures. All of the leaves have fallen off of both trees. Will the tree bounce back from the stress of the weather? The branches are flexible and I will not see new growth until the Spring.

    • April February 15, 2023 at 5:23 am - Reply

      We have experienced the exact same just south of Nashville. That is some reassurance given our proximity that it is weather that has impacted our hollies.

      • Frank March 10, 2023 at 6:40 am - Reply

        Yes, east of Nashville the same. I can see a bit of green tinge in each plant except the Holly. I’m happy to wait until May for this twenty year old tree.

  2. Randy February 3, 2023 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    Same, Gayle. In Memphis.

  3. Kendra February 24, 2023 at 7:12 am - Reply

    I have 3 holly bushes and they all lost their leaves over the winter. I want to prune all the way down, will this help?

  4. Fisher February 24, 2023 at 10:49 am - Reply

    Just north of Memphis and both of my 15 foot trees did the same

  5. Gail February 28, 2023 at 4:59 am - Reply

    I’m just north of Nashville and all four of our bushes lost their leaves. I found this article online:

  6. Stephanie March 1, 2023 at 9:59 am - Reply

    Yes I have a row of about 5 Blue Prince hollies I planted from Home Depot 6 years ago and they all completely leaf-dropped. Praying for a miracle over here!!

  7. Pat March 6, 2023 at 7:00 am - Reply

    We live in Indiana and have the same problem with our 100 year old holly bush. We haven’t had a lot of snow this winter but did have a bad cold spell. The holly started looking bad in February and I’ve been worrying about it since. I will follow the advice of this article and pray that it makes it!

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