Holly Tree Maintenance

Now that it's getting cooler, I want to work on my American Holly tree. It's about a 30 footer. I started by cleaning all the leaves etc from underneath. Next would be pruning and feeding. I am clueless on the process, so any hints would be appreciated.
Some particular questions
1) There are some branches that turn and go vertically up the side of the tree. Should they be trimmed off? 2) Right now, the tree limbs sit on the ground. Am I supposed to cut off the bottom layer of limbs to clear the ground? 3) What do you feed these things?
Thanks
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Yes - they're called suckers.

Your choice, depending on the look you want. If it were mine, I'd cut them off. American Holly trees are very hardy when it comes to pruning. I've probably got 30+ of them on my property, prune them whenever they need it, and have never had one to die.

It probably doesn't need feeding since its 30' tall. However if you insist, any general purpose fertilizer will work fine. Go out about 10ft from the trunk, use a shovel to lift up 2"-3" of soil, drop in a handfull of fertilizer, and replace the soil. Repeat about 6-8 times around the tree.

I despise holly bushes, but like holly trees. The berries are pretty in the winter and attract migrating birds in the spring. Plus they are mostly maintenance free and very hardy.
Bob
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Bob wrote:

Thanks! Oddly, I have another holly tree almost as tall which has NO suckers. Weird.
Oh, I also have a 16 footer which I noticed recently is going to both soon grow over into my neighbors yard AND up along overhead lines. Wish I could move it but I think I'm going to just have to cut it down. If I plant one of the branches in a different spot is there any chance it will take root?
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

neighbor. Not everyone likes holly leaves in their yard.
When you cut it down, immediately treat the stump with full strength brush killer. Hollies are very persistent to come back from a cut stump.
I've never tried starting a holly from a cutting, so can't answer that question. But they are very easy to start from a planted berry.
Bob
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On 22 Sep 2006 11:46:34 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Hollies can be trimmed or left natural looking.

Depends on how you want the overall tree to look. Personally I think they look much better with the limbs left on.
Look for a product called "Hollytone." It is an organic fertilizer for hollies and other plants. Your tree will benefit with a 2-4" layer of mulch.

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