Q: Two hollies have died in the same spot over the last couple of years.. The first one was replaced and now this one has died. I watered in absence of rain for a week.
A: It looks to me like both of them got too dry and died as a result. Correctly watering of large evergreen shrubs is difficult. Some need regular watering for at least a year after planting. Much of the difficulty comes from the method by which they were planted. If a large area of soil around the planting hole is not loosened before planting, the roots have a difficult time expanding and being able to absorb water. This means water has to be applied directly underneath the shrub for at least six months to keep the root ball moist until roots are finally able to grow outward.
Fall is the best time to plant evergreen shrubs, so do so correctly and I think you’ll have more success in this spot.