Posted: 04/12/2012 at 20:38
I used to be a very wary cutter back but over the years i've come to realise that, for many shrubs, the harder you cut back the better. If you cut off the top few feet you may well get a nice bushy little top knot. I doubt if all the side branches would bush out as well. I'd cut it back lower and cut back the side branches as well to achieve bushyness (is that how you spell it?). The best cutting back of a holly I ever did was after one got burnt by an over-ambitious bonfire. The holly was cut back to base and within a few years was a really bushy shrub.
Not sure when's the right time. When you get round to it? I gave one a good seeing to in October but it's too early to tell if successful. I'm not expecting it to die though. They're pretty tough.