Holly--Disease or Insect or What?

Asked June 17, 2016, 9:55 PM EDT

A number of limbs on my nice holly shrub have died this year, although other parts seem to be fine . When I was pruning the dead branches, I saw this on the main trunk area. It seems to be the only strange phenomenon on the shrub. Can you tell me what this is and whether it might be the cause of my problem?

Howard County Maryland trees and shrubs trees holly dieback

1 Response

It was a problem long ago, which may or may not be a problem now.
That is a split branch, which was mostly healed where it could. The branch closest in the foreground is almost completely healed over, while the other looks like it couldn't close it up. We can't say why it happened, but if it is under the eaves of your home, heavy snow falling from the roof can do this on younger plants, but really any number of things could have injured it.
Any dead branches should simply be pruned out, and this can be done at any time of year.