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You can prune holly to what shape you want at any time. Its pretty bombproof.
Hi Jan and fidgetbones. We bought a house last year which has a mature variegated holly in the front garden, and which probably stands about 20-25 ft tall. In the past it has been pruned to a pyramid shape but is now getting a bit large and unruly so I would like to have it topped and reshaped. My husband read that it wasn't a good time to cut holly in the summer, but my neighbour has just had her tree shaped, so now I'm confused too.
I've cut holly at all times of year, depending on when I've got the time and inclination. It never seems to have bothered mine.
That's good to know fidgetbones...I will get the tree surgeon in to do it. My husband offered to get up the ladder, but I said we would probably need a medical surgeon if he did it, so no thank you!!!
Have you ever noticed that parts of the tree losing its variegation? I have a 'patch' which just has yellow leaves. Do you think I should get this cut out? It is not in the shade but has good light. Just a blip maybe?
Its a sport (see eleagnus thread). It probably wouldn't grow on its own roots as not enough chlorophyll to support it. Its too weak to take over, so you could cut it out or leave it. Patches of all dark green tend to be stronger and I would cut them out.
We severely pruned some green holly in an overgrown hedge last August and it is fine now.
OK, thanks. I'll see whether the tree surgeon takes it out when he reshapes the tree.
Like fidget I've hacked holly back at various times. It's tough and it regrows well. Sometimes you do it a favour in fact and it makes a good hedge. We inherited a large neglected holly at last house which I spent an afternoon sorting out. Many branches were crossingand it was tangled up in other shrubs and hedge. Lots of leaves were almost white. It improved it no end and looked great the following year.
With the all green shoots it is wise to remove them from source.....don't cut them but pull them off if you can. I have 2 large hollies .....golden king and handsworth new silver. I cut every year to their natural conical shape. If I say so myself....and I do.....they look superb. Evergreen. Eye catching. Adding "weight" and maturity to the garden.