When to prune holly trees? Best Time for Holly Tree Pruning? And more

When To Prune Holly Trees? The holly, also known as Ilex aquifolium, is an evergreen tree native to the UK. It grows up to 1.5 meters high and can live up to 300 years. 

The holly is, of course, synonymous with Christmas, thanks to its deep green leaves and bright red berries that remain on the tree all winter. It is also a popular winter food source and nesting tree for birds, while small mammals enjoy their slippery protection during hibernation. Holly is found in gardens, parks, hedges, oak and beech forests. 

Why prune a holly tree? 

Holly trees bloom in the older forests. This means that pruning a holly tree during its dormant phase (see below) results in a decrease in the number of flower buds that appear during the following growth season, which means fewer holly berries. If you prune the tree during this time, you are more likely to expose it to disease and encourage new growth that is damaged. 

The pruning is done to create a specific shape for the tree. In other words, it aims to maintain the attractive appearance of the facility throughout the year. Depending on the preference and setting of the tree, pruning can be formal or informal. 

Holly tree pruning the best time? 

Holly trees need a slight pruning to look tidy, maintain the health of the trees, remove clogged branches and boost the airflow. The safest time to prune holly is in late winter and early spring. It is vital not to leave the holly tree standing for too long in summer or early autumn, as frost can damage new growth and sap and attract beetles that can bring disease. You do not want to reduce berry production, so you should wait until the summer when the trees begin to bloom and form berries before pruning them or cutting twigs for berries. Some people like to cut holly for their couch or lounge during the festive season. 

Remember that next year, the berry harvest will decrease as a result. This is safer for the tree during its resting phase. 

What to look for 

Be not alarmed however by leaf turning yellow and falling in summer, since this is simply the normal discarding of old leaves. Look out for purple or black spots on the leaves and stems. Holly trees are prone to holly. Look out for holly miner flies, which can cause leaf stains, but should be confused with the h holly, as the difference is that the spots are yellowish-purple or yellowish-white and appear on top of the leaf center. 

Tree Preservation Orders 

If a Tree Protection Ordinance (TPO) is in force, you should never proceed with tree work. Always check before you proceed. 

Once the TPO is in place, you will need to apply to the local authority for permission to carry out tree work, and you will find that this can take up to eight weeks. If the tree is also in a nature reserve, you may also need a permit for such work. Trees are often used for bird nests, so you need to make sure your trees are free of nests, as birds can come and go during tree work, and it is a criminal offense to disturb bird nests.

The importance of holly tree pruning expertise 

If you want to ensure that your holly trees receive good care and attention and ensure that the disease is detected and properly treated, it is best to consult a qualified tree surgeon. They will be able to detect signs of the disease and deal with it. You will be trained to prune at the best of times and know the appropriate method for pruning, depending on the variety and what you want to achieve. 

When selecting a tree surgeon, be sure to ask for a verifiable reference certificate to prove your qualifications. Request insurance documents, so you can be sure that you are covered for the work you have done. If possible, try to engage tree surgeons with trading standards or the approval of local authorities to guarantee quality and good value for money. 

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