Should I plant more hollies despite a scale infestation?

Asked April 8, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

An arborist diagnosed extensive scale infestation on our mature Nellie Stevens and Japanese hollies and sprayed to control last fall; this spring, the infestation is much reduced but I've received mixed advice on whether to have a garden company plant (as proposed) additional hollies planted (along with some pines) to screen a very large "McMansion" under construction next door. The existing hollies in our yard have flourished for more than 10 years -- with regular inspections and deep feeding by an arborist, and we had the same experience with a Japanese holly at our prior house. But someone told me that there's been an increase in scale, particularly on hollies, in the D.C. area as a result of climate change and that's a reason not to plant any more hollies. But does one season doom all hollies? I'm inclined to get the scale under control on existing plants and then plant more.

Montgomery County Maryland trees and shrubs shrubs holly lrk scale

1 Response

We have not seen enough scale on hollies to suggest that people quit planting them. It remains one of the best choices for landscaping. It is always a good idea to plant an assortment of plants rather than a monoculture. You could consider adding some Chamaecyparis or Osmanthus or Rhododendron or other plants to vary the plants in your landscape. This is not to say that you cannot plant more hollies. vw