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Thoughts on removing old Holly shrubs?

Posted by JenniferinFL 9B Florida (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 11, 13 at 11:32

Some of the original landscaping around our house is still around, mostly some kind of holly. Maybe I'm in the minority here, BUT I really dislike holly. It's that spikey leaved holly, don't think it's the native one. It's whatever one was popular to plant in the early 80's. What really bugs me about it is that they've gone a bit sparse and grown above the roof of the sunroom. They also surround the sunroom in such a way where very little light enters which means I can't start plants in the sunroom as the light is only adequate in one small corner. I suppose I could lop them off a lot lower to the ground with the hopes of turning them back into shrubs, but it doesn't change the fact that I don't like them to begin with. It seems like only one of them sets berries. Not sure why that would be.

They have a fantastic sunny location where I would love to plant something for the butterflies, or maybe even be selfish and put in roses. Something that flowers anyways.

One thing holding me back is how to even get started removing what are almost small trees. The other thing holding me back is that these things are like 30 years old and still alive which is more than I can say for my attempts at planting things last year.

So, thoughts? Is there anything good about these Holly shrubs that benefits wildlife? Should I wait to see if anything I've planted survives before destroying landscaping that has survived? I'm just surprised there aren't even birds nests in these.

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RE: Thoughts on removing old Holly shrubs?

  • Posted by karalynn z9 FL, Inverness, Ci (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 11, 13 at 15:26

A few years back my parents had to remove several mature burford holly bushes that had sunk their roots into their septic drain field. The bushes had large trunks and extensive root systems. In order to remove them Dad cut them down to a couple feet tall and dug a trench around each bush, cutting all the major roots that he could find. Then he wrapped ropes around the trunk and tied it to the trailor hitch on their van in order to pull each bush out of the ground.

I have seen where people have trimmed them up from the ground into small trees. If you can't get them out of the ground you could try going that route.


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