Q:

How do you trim a holly tree?

A:

Quick Answer

Trimming your holly tree helps to maintain its shape and encourages new growth. Limit major trimming to the tree's dormant period. Wear appropriate clothing and eye protection due to the sharp spines on the holly leaves.

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Full Answer

  1. Inspect the holly for disease

    Look for wounds on the tree trunk, which are a sign of a disease. While a mild infestation is treatable using an appropriate pesticide, consider removing any tree with a major infestation. Dispose of diseased debris in an appropriate manner to prevent infestation of other trees in the area.

  2. Choose the most appropriate method for your species of holly

    Trim hollies that form a rounded crown and grow to at least 8 feet tall by limbing up, removing lower branches to form the bush into a tree. Trim conical hollies using hacktracking, a method that involves trimming all limbs by two-thirds, to reinforce the shrub's pyramidal shape.

  3. Select the branches to trim

    DoItYourself.com recommends removing any branches growing upward or downward when limbing up, leaving those growing horizontally. Trim any damaged limbs and those that appear to be weak. Beginning at eye level, remove branches that cross and thin any dense growth to provide air circulation. Keep the lower branches longer than those above them.

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    What are some holly tree varieties?

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    There are 12 varieties of holly trees, with the most common being American holly, English holly, Carolina holly, Chinese holly and common winterberry holly. Less common varieties include finetooth holly, Hawaiian holly, inkberry holly, Japanese holly, lusterleaf holly, myrtle-leaved holly and yaupon holly.

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    How do I stop a tree from growing?

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    Careful pruning during the late winter dormant season is the best way to limit an established tree's growth. To prevent new growth on a cut stump, simply salt the trunk.

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    Prune a dogwood tree by cutting back diseased, damaged and dead limbs, removing twigs and suckers, and pruning for size and shape. Focus on heavy pruning during the tree's dormant period in the winter and do lighter pruning as required or in early spring before new growth.

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    Orange trees do not require pruning to keep them productive and develop a pleasing shape with little pruning. During the first three years after planting, no pruning of orange trees is recommended. If height maintenance is desired after that, annual pruning is done in early spring before flowering occurs or in late summer after harvest time. Throughout the year, prune suckers at the base to maintain a strong central trunk and remove dead branches, twigs and leaves to discourage diseases.

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