The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Pembrokeshire, United Kingdom Gb

Holly problem - help please!!
Last year the variegated one lost its leaves on the lower branches and this year is dead. The much larger nearby plain green one (here when we came so don't know the variety) now has lots of bare branches on the lower part of the tree and it looks as though it might go the same way. The leaves that remain look healthy. Its on a very steep bank and it will be challenging to reach the dead parts to cut off.
Does anyone know what might have caused the dieback?



were there any toadstools around the base of either of them last year Stera. I was wondering if honey fungus might be the cause. Peel some bark of the dead one and see if there is any mushroomy smell and white fibres running under it.

7 May, 2018


Just been down to have a look. Coudn't see any sign but was surprised to see the wood is still green and I had to cut the bark as it didn't want to peel. You would have thought it was still alive.. What a relief - honey fungus is something we can well do without... I would have noticed mushrooms if I'd happened to go down there at the right time but it's a bit dodgy underfoot and I'm not quite as spry as I used to be...

7 May, 2018


Are you saying the variegated one has completely died? And that the green one could go the same way, have never known this with holly, as you are probably aware you can cut these hollys back to just a stump and given time will regenerate with many shoots, try and check if poss by digging round base for problems and check the leaves for anything, has anything corrosive been spilt, what’s the surrounding vegetation like beneath the Holly’s, is that ok?

7 May, 2018


The variegated one has no leaves at all although the wood is green under the bark.The bottom of the crown of the tree is level with the border because its at the bottom of a steep bank- difficult spot to crawl under. For many years the bottom few branches were behind a privet hedge so they are spindly - I thought that once the hedge was removed and the branches trimmed back a bit that they might recover - they began to grow new leaves at first but now they look very sad. What kind of problems would you look for? I have never seen any mushrooms in the area. Because of the situation there is no chance of anything nasty being spilled round either of them.

I'm beginning to think that removing the whole tree might be the way to go (And what a horrible prickly job that would be!) - not a good spot for trying to regenerate from the ground though- I didn't know you could do that and it might be worth trying it with the variegated one. - Then there's the question of what to replace it with!

Decisions decisions...

8 May, 2018


Hi, before you take it out could you not say take most of it down and leave a few feet of trunk which normally would respond quite well albeit slow, this could then be left to gain it’s natural habit or shape it into a standard, did you know that Holly’s can be laid just like hawthorn etc.

8 May, 2018


That's an interesting idea. How slow is slow? I am getting older all the time...

8 May, 2018


Hi if done now by the end of year you would expect to see a cluster of approx six inch growth from just below the cut.

9 May, 2018

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?