The Q&A Archives: What should I do with my Holly Tree, that appears to be dying in sections.

Question: I have a 20 year old Holly tree that now has several sections where the leaves have turned brown, and now I can see all the way through to the main trunk. I have noticed a few moths flying around the tree but only a few. I have never had this problem before. The tree had white blooms this past Spring, it now has geen berries, and they always turn red by winter. The tree appears to be healthy with the exception of thes few brown sections. Thanks

Answer: I don't think the moths have anything to do with the dead branches. When individual branches die, they generally have an internal cause; either damage at the main trunk, or some problems with the roots. I'd prune out the dead branches and watch the holly carefully for healthy new growth. As long as it is producing new stems, foliage, flowers and berries, it is healthy and the loss of a few branches shouldn't harm it. If the growth slows or stops, or if there is a general decline in its health, there may be problems with the roots. Keep your fingers crossed that the dead branches are just isolated damage and won't spread to the rest of your holly.

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