Palatka Hollies – How Much Can I Trim


Q: We have Palatka hollies that are thirty-five feet tall. We would like to cut
them back and keep them about ten feet tall. Could we successfully maintain
them at a lower height? How and when should they be trimmed? 

A: It will take lots of work to accomplish this. The hollies will need to be
pruned at least twice EVERY year, in winter and in summer. ‘East Palatka’
holly is a hybrid between our native Dahoon holly and American holly. Both
hollies are trees: They prefer to grow in an upright form, not a bush. So when
a Palatka holly is pruned, its parents’ genetics take over and the resulting
sprouts head for the sky. Unless you like climbing ladders, both now and in
the future, I recommend you remove the hollies or learn to live with them.

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