rpinterFebruary 16, 2014

My husband decided to "prune" our yaupon hollies - he has cut them back to just Y's off of the trunk. I loved those trees and now they are really ugly! He insists that they will grow back by the end of the summer, but he didn't talk to a nursery or landscape person before doing this. I'm hoping someone on here will know this kind of holly and be able to advise me on what to expect. My husband said if these won't grow back quickly that he will simply yank them out and put in new ones.

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It should regrow, I have one that had to be cut back to almost ground level about 3 years ago, and now it's about 6 foot tall, not as full as it had been, but it's working on it.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 3:45PM
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viburnumvalley(z5/6 KY)

The procedure that you are describing is call "hat-racking" - whether your husband knew that or not - and hollies can grow back from that treatment, but that doesn't mean that yours will.

There are a number of other considerations, including the general tree health before this severe pruning; soil fertility where your plants are growing; and weather conditions (especially moisture) when these plants try to grow back from latent buds along the remaining branches.

Proper pruning of the new shoots that emerge is one critical thing. If you just let everything grow as it flushes out, you will just have a mess of stems instead of a healthy plant with a strong branching structure. Your husband should read up a bit on that, if he hasn't been directed to already. There is a fine text that he should purchase for you (Hollies: The Genus Ilex by Fred Galle) if marital stability is desired.

Here is an article about this pruning technique, used by the Scott Arboretum in the Philadelphia area. You could google more of these.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hat Racking Hollies

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 4:52PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

so little info ...

how old.. how established.. how much cut off ...

a good sized plant.. with a very mature root mass.. will most likely surprise you with how fast it can regenerate ... with no insult to the root mass ...

however.. a recently planted evergreen.. that was going to rely on the old leaves.. to feed itself.. to grow roots to get established.. might suffer greatly .;..

also ... if they have evolved into a very shady spot.. this might also impact vigor ...

why dont you sneak out.. and hide his shears and saws .. lol

odds are though.. you couldnt kill a holly ... without a chemical application.. so i would not waste a lot of grief worrying about it ... him on the other hand.. i might worry ... lol .. and i would give him the grief ...

snap some before pix [before growth starts] ... and some in fall... and tell us how it all worked out ....


    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 7:01PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

What was his reason for this pruning job? Surely he had a motive. My prediction is that the hollies will regrow, but that they will look awful....just awful.

If size was the issue, don't let him buy more Yaupons!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 4:42AM
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