The Q&A Archives: Helleri or Shillings Holly - losing leaves, branches dying, plant dying?

Question: I planted about 8 small hollys in my front yard last December ('04) and can't remember whether they are Shillings or Helleri Holly - but they are systematically loosing their leaves along one side of the plant, leaving bare little branches and then gradually the whole plant is losing its leaves and dies. it's almost as if a beetle is nibbling off the leaves, leaving bare branches b/c it starts on one side and then spreads to effect the whole plant. i've sprayed frantically with general insecticides from home depot and i have water diligently. i've checked the soil and can't find any beetles or grubs? these plants are in full, all-day sun. thank you for your help!

Best, Eleanor Williamson

Answer: Based on your description, I would suspect either a root problem or possibly a fungal infection but it is very difficult to make this type of diagnosis long distance. I would suggest you consult with your county extension and/or local professional nursery staff to obtain a specific diagnosis of what is happening and then based on that, treat accordingly. If a chemical control is needed, your county extension will have the most up to date information on what to use and how/when is best to apply it. Unfortunately, without knowing exactly what is affecting the plants I can't tell you how to proceed.

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