How to Get Rid of Holly Bushes

Written by laura bramble
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How to Get Rid of Holly Bushes
Holly is a very hardy shrub. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Holly is famous as a Christmas decoration, but it is actually a versatile and popular shrub that exists on every continent except for Antarctica and Australia. There are more than 400 varieties of holly that range from 3-foot tall bushes to 70-foot tall trees. Hollies are very hardy, though they are not fond of severe over-pruning. Hollies will often survive attempts to kill them, but you can permanently remove them with effort and the proper technique.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Hedge clippers or trimmer
  • Saw
  • Spade
  • Shovel
  • Drill
  • Tree stump killer
  • Hoe

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  1. 1

    Remove all of the branches with a saw or hedge clippers, if it's at bush or shrub height, so that you have good access to the trunk.

  2. 2

    Cut the trunk down as close to the ground as possible -- the lower the better.

  3. 3

    Back up 2 feet or more from the bush or hedge stump, depending on the size of the holly, and use a spade to cut off the roots around the trunk.

  4. 4

    Dig up the trunk and the attached roots. The root system for a mature holly can be extensive, so you may have to remove the outlying roots if you wish to plant other plants in the same area.

  5. 5

    Remove the trunk and roots from the ground for permanent removal of smaller holly bushes.

  6. 6

    Drill multiple holes in the holly stump if the holly is too large to dig out and remove from the ground.

  7. 7

    Place tree stump killer in the holes, following package directions. You can find this at any garden supply store.

  8. 8

    Break up the stump down to the ground as it dies and rots. Eventually it will rot flush with the ground.

Tips and warnings

  • If you only cut the holly down to the ground and leave it, it will sprout new growth and continue to grow.

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