Holly dropping leaves

Asked May 1, 2019, 10:35 AM EDT

We have two tall holly bushes (I don't remember the variety, someone mentioned it a few times) at the corners of our house. One of them started to look sickly (first photo). I suspected it was because we just had drainage pipes put in, and maybe a lot of roots were cut to do that. Also, some branches were tied up to put in mulch, and we didn't notice until a few days later and the cord was removed. I was just going to see if it would survive. However, the OTHER holly on the other side of the house (second photo) is now dropping a lot of leaves too. It had been a hotbed of bee activity a few weeks ago. Now there are a lot of yellow leaves. It certainly doesn't look as bad as the first, but the leaf drop is noticeable. Anything we can do? Thanks.

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

This is the time of year that the older leaves of hollies yellow and fall off. Some years it is worse than others. This is normal. The holly in the first photo may be feeling the effects of the work that was done around its roots. If the summer turns dry this holly should be kept watered. A 2-3 inch mulch layer around this tree or even some compost (you can use LeafGro) around the base could help it. However, do not pile mulch up around the trunk.
Please see the following information from our website about the leaf yellowing and shedding,
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/normal-leaf-shedding


Deb