Sick Sky Pencil Holly

Asked April 27, 2017, 6:43 PM EDT

Hi - I have a sky pencil holly that was planted about two years ago. Most of its leaves have turned all or part brown. It seems as though it happened pretty quickly, but it's possible I just didn't notice it until today. Do you have any idea what might be wrong and suggestions for treating it? Thank you!

Baltimore Maryland

1 Response

Though it's hard to say for sure from a photo, there may be multiple things going on here.
One thing is winterburn. This happens when broadleaved evergreens get dried out by winter weather, resulting in a scorched appearance, especially if they went into the winter without rain or water.
We suggest that you prune out any dead areas, and see if the plant puts out a flush of new growth this season.
We wonder if the holly is planted too deeply or mulch too deeply. Pull any mulch back from the bark of the trunk.
Another thought is where/how your downspout drains. It is fairly closeby, and these plants can develop a root rot disease if they stay wet.