Skypencil used as Secondary Litter Box
The Cat uses the area around the Skypencil as a secondary litter box while he's in the back yard. Any suggestions on what I can put down around the mulch area of the Skypencil to discourage the Cat without harming him? Can the Skypencil be rehabilitated?
Montgomery County Maryland
You could try putting down some wire mesh or hardware cloth that they don't like stepping on and can't dig in.
We wonder though if there are other issues going on.
Sky pencil hollies grow best in full sun, though they can take part shade.
How long has it been there? Is it in the early stages of establishment...like planted within the last 12-18 months or so? Could it be planted too deeply? Has it been watered in times of drought? All of these things could make it look stressed like this.
We suggest pruning out any brittle (snaps when bent) wood.
If you it is recently planted and is planted deeper than it was originally in it's pot, you could lift it and replant it higher. If it's been there a while, give it a gentle tug to see if it might either have some root rot, or even look for bark damage from hungry rodents that would show up down low (or even underground).
Keep it watered this season if we don't get an inch of rain a week. (A tuna can placed nearby can be useful to collect/measure rainfall).