Holly Bush

Asked April 6, 2018, 2:20 PM EDT

My Holly Bush is dead on one half of bush. So far 50 percent Is still living

Harford County Maryland

1 Response

There is a great deal of leaf scorch on hollies this spring due to the dry, cold winter. Broad-leaved evergreens like holly continue to lose moisture during the winter, and the leaves brown, and can die, when their soil is too dry and frozen to replenish the water in the leaves. Do not let your broad-leaved evergreen go into winter in dry soil. We also had a dry autumn last year, which made the impact worse.

Most hollies are not dead! Do not prune or remove them until you are certain. Give them time to leaf out this spring. It has been a long cold spring, and normal leafing has been delayed for that reason, too. Be patient! Do not try to prune out this dead growth yet. Hollies are very tough and native, so adapted to tough winters. They can regrow even when they die back to the ground.

To determine if a branch or shrub is really dead, scratch the bark and in a section and look for green underneath, which means it is alive. If 50% is truly dead, it is easiest to replace it, but hollies can tolerate severe pruning and it could bounce back just fine as long as you don't mind waiting for it.

You can help it by watering during dry periods this summer.