Holly Bushes Have Been Eaten - Knowledgebase Question

Altamont, NY
Avatar for TT11RR
Question by TT11RR
April 21, 2000
This winter the rabbits ate my holly bushes. Many have no leaves or twigs left. They are simply stems. Some are still green. Will they live or should I simply throw them away?

Answer from NGA
April 21, 2000
The answer depends on how extensive the damage is and how patient you are as a gardener. If the rabbits ate all the way around the trunk and girdled it, then it will die. The same is true for stems. But if they simply ate back the tips, then the plants should recover. Holly does not grow very fast, however, so it may take some time to regrow completely. You may want to take steps to prevent the rabbits from damaging your plantings because there are many plants they like to eat in addition to holly.

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