Winter is a great time to prune many Holly trees and shrubs. A light, late fall pruning restores the plants’ shapes and enhances the prominence of the berries–just in time for Christmas and New Year’s.

A deeper, more thorough, late winter pruning provides room for future growth. This is also a good time to do any significant thinning for two good reasons: allowing additional light into the plant will generate good internal growth when the spring push arrives; it will create a less attractive environment for pests, funguses, and diseases. As spring approaches, it is a good idea to make plants as uninviting as possible for those unwanted guests.

Although you may not relish the cold, the emotional and physical benefits of spending a few hours in the sun during winter can be profound. It’s also quite possible your Holly plants are the most attractive plants in your garden in this season, which makes working with them far more fun than working on a barren Maple tree, for example. In addition, the winter clothing required by the cold has the added benefit of protecting you from the scratches and cuts that are a regular part of pruning Hollies at any other time of year.

So have fun, and enjoy your Holly-days!

Contributed by Peter Dymond
Hanselman Landscape’s Garden Care Supervisor

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