hollies, brown leaves

Asked April 2, 2018, 2:05 PM EDT

I have five holly bushes in a row, about 5 years old. Every fall/winter some of the leaves go brown, but this year a lot more of them went brown, and I was wondering if it's anything to be concerned about. Thank you.

Harford County Maryland shrubs winter injury abiotic issues

1 Response

Your hollies are showing symptoms of winter damage. We are seeing quite a lot of this in hollies and other plants this year, due to the winter weather conditions. This leaf scorch symptom develops on dry, windy, warm or sunny winter days when the ground is frozen. Plants are unable to move water from the frozen soil to replace the water being lost from the exposed leaves. The best thing to do right now is to wait and be patient for new growth to appear as the weather gets warmer. If the leaf buds were not damaged, new foliage will come out and eventually the damaged leaves will drop off. If there are any branches that do not recover, then you can prune them out. There is more information about winter damage here: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/winter-damage-trees-and-shrubs

If you are interested, you can also read about winter damage and how prevalent it is this year. This story was written by Washington Post's garden writer last week: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/winter-battered-plants-may-look-dead--but-dont-give-up...