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Old 08-12-2013, 04:18 PM
 
212 posts, read 342,984 times
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I had a long row of big holly bushes across the front of my natural area. Periodically a bush will just die. At this time I have two bushes dying. I know these bushes are at least 15 years old. I see no insects on the bushes.

Anyone have any idea why the holly bushes just die? See attached photos. Thanks!
Attached Thumbnails
Holly bushes dying-holly1.jpg   Holly bushes dying-holly2.jpg  
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:13 PM
 
Location: North Taxolina
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We have the same problem with our bushes (compacta). Not sure how old they are (the house is about 14 yo). We removed one last year and planted a brand new one instead, but now the new one seems to have the same symptoms. Unfortunately, I have not found a reason so far - there was a post on this site that mentioned frost, but the last 2 winters were mild. Can't see any insects either or any other signs (such as spots), it just turns brown and that's it.

The two smaller bushes had just a few branches affected, I removed them quickly and now they're fine. Was not able to save the bigger bushes.
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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death from harsh weather does not come immediately. We may not see it but a plant can be stressed but still alive for some time and then--it's gone. More than cold I would put the blame on drought which we definitely had for several years until June when it rained so much some plants were actually drowned. A couple years of drought and then too much rain may be the culprit.
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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I'm a self-ascribed green thumb, although not a holly bush expert, but those don't look like the traditional holly bushes I'm used to seeing. Where are the thorny tips and red berries? I guess they could all be male bushes, but even the males have thorns. Perhaps correct identification may aid in your diagnosis. Could those be boxwoods?
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JQ Public View Post
I'm a self-ascribed green thumb, although not a holly bush expert, but those don't look like the traditional holly bushes I'm used to seeing. Where are the thorny tips and red berries? I guess they could all be male bushes, but even the males have thorns. Perhaps correct identification may aid in your diagnosis. Could those be boxwoods?
Trust me, the bushes have a thorn on the tip of the leaf...ie a holly leaf. However, there are no red berries on the bushes....and no they are not boxwoods, unless boxwoods have thorns.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:15 AM
 
212 posts, read 342,984 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JQ Public View Post
I'm a self-ascribed green thumb, although not a holly bush expert, but those don't look like the traditional holly bushes I'm used to seeing. Where are the thorny tips and red berries? I guess they could all be male bushes, but even the males have thorns. Perhaps correct identification may aid in your diagnosis. Could those be boxwoods?

For JQP.... Dwarf Buford Holly that is what they are, google it. Dwarf Buford holly bushes have only 1 thorn on the tip of the leaf and grow 3ft wide and 3-4ft tall, just as my bushes.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:51 AM
 
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Tough call - but any chance that a dog confuses that spot as a fire hydrant?

Seriously - if one or more dogs consistently use that shrub as a bathroom stop, you're liking to have "burning" from the excess nitrogen.

You could also get a soil analysis done and see what the results look like.


Frank
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
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These hollies are also susceptible to white flies and aphids. They will be so small you might not see them.
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:49 AM
 
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No dogs. I will examine the bush again for insects. The dying bushes begin with a branch dying then eventually spreads throughout the entire bush. I will watch more closely and cut out any dying branches I see in the future. Over the last 2 years, my 20 ft holly "hedge" is now down to about 12ft due to dying bushes.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:08 AM
 
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We have had the same issues over the years with this type of holly. IDK what type they are, but we call them "construction bushes" since that's what the builders put in. As they have died off we have replaced them with other types of hollies that have done well and not had the problem. Our boxwoods are doing well, too.
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