What's going on with this holly?!?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by twowheelted, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. twowheelted

    twowheelted LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    This Holly looked WAY better when I last visited the property 6 months ago. I believe it was planted a few years ago. Anybody have any ideas?

    The previous maintenance company ran the drip irrigation 3-4 times a week for short periods of time. There was a large butterfly bush that fell over nearby. It seemed to have very little root structure and I wonder if it's because there was an emitter at the very base of the plant.

    I wonder if this watering pattern created problems for the holly as well and perhaps it got too big up top and not underneath to withstand another winter.
    Or maybe you see something else?



  2. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,327

    1)When planted the root ball might not have been loosened properly.
    2)Way to much water for the soil and roots leading to anaerobic soil which will make a plant die like this.
    3)It might have been hit by some pesticide(I don't know if it did or didn't)
    4)Improper disinfectant cleaning of trimmers can cause disease spread in several types of shrubs and bushes.
    5)Check for signs of damage caused by critters.(Missing bark or holes in the wood or ground etc.)
    This is where I would start.
  3. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    as above, start at the base always first unless otherwise very obvious
  4. FLCthes4:11-12

    FLCthes4:11-12 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    I would say that it is winter burn from the extreme cold that we have had. Also dig a small narrow but deep hole beside the rootball to see if it is sitting in water.
  5. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    x3 on the water.

    We've seen the same thing with Holly's around here the last couple of years when we had some really wet summers and winters.

    The local extension office was calling it "evergreen decline" (other evergreens were affected) and any Holly I pulled that was dead had wet feet.
  6. Landrus2

    Landrus2 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,020

    All he needs it to flow this advise.
  7. Plantculture

    Plantculture LawnSite Member
    Messages: 128

    Make sure its not planted too deep. 1st scaffolding root should be at or just above the soil surface.
  8. PremierT&L

    PremierT&L LawnSite Member
    Messages: 223

    looks like wet feet...
  9. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746


    I had some nice looking hollies back in August also, but consider that hollies are notorious shallow rooted shrubs and are susceptible to harsh conditions. Irrigation will lead to surface rooting but I don't think that this is killing this holly. I have removed around 5 thus far this month from winter injury and freezing, blistering windy temperatures followed by ice and snow.
    The fore mentioned possibilities above are good sound things that will cause decline and death to many types of plants, however, this classical leaf blistering-browning and curling leaf pattern is symptoms of a unusual temperature cycle for your area. This has been a bad season----for the whole united states. Everyone needs to get ready to do some replanting and a lot of extractions this Spring and Summer.
  10. Southern Elegance

    Southern Elegance LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241

    just a little shock, fertilize in the spring and it will be fine. Some iron and holly tone would be a good idea too

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