The Q&A Archives: Pruning Holly Bushes

Question: What's the best time to prune Holly bushes? (just planted last year). I heard that I should wait a couple of years before their first pruning.

Answer: Hollies produce flowers on new growth so for the best berry set, you'll want to prune in late winter or very early spring. Usually new hollies don't need much pruning - they can take a full year to become established before putting out new growth and you'll want to encourage good rooting, not new growth. After a year in the ground you can prune lightly to remove any wayward branches and to make the plant look more symmetrical. After that, you can prune to shape in the late winter or early spring.

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