Actually, it might not be a holly. This is in Rochester NY (zone 5-6-ish),
eastern exposure, roots about 2 feet from blacktop driveway. A friend just
moved into the house two days ago. We have no idea how the shrub was
treated/managed in the past. Previous owner is very secretive about it,
since she's deceased. Wind/frost could be the issue, but I'm wondering if
soil could somehow be SO screwed up that it would cause what you see in the
Seems to be damaged predoninently to the driveway side. Being in the
driveway and at that low height at first I thought it could be damage from
hot auto exhaust but then I noticed it's right at the back door so it could
be someone has been tossing their dirty soapy mop bucket water. I can see
some smaller much lower plants there that don't seem affected so maybe those
are too low for the exhaust or are simply more tolerant or the holly is
shielding them from overspray. It's barely growing season there yet, I'd
leave it alone and wait... just don't idle an automobile/riding mower there
and don't be tossing dirty water there... looks like they tossed the
fercocktah liquid from the top step over the bush into the wind and that's
the result of blow back... could even be the result of someones habit of
constantly tossing the dregs of a beverage, hot or cold... I bet my Crystal
Palace w/grapefruit juice could do that, 'cept I never toss any 'cept down
my hatch. Maybe that solves the mystery of left over beer. You have to
admit it's located perfectly for tossing dregs of drinks both coming and
You need to return with your tape measure, it's right up to that landing,
there's only one shingle length from the door jamb to the corner of the
building, and it not two feet from the driveway, it plainly overhangs the
On Sun, 19 Apr 2009 15:00:00 -0400, "JoeSpareBedroom"
This is not a holly but Oregon grape root. It produces clusters of
small yellow flowers in the spring, then produces small bunches of
dark purple berries that resemble grapes.
First, carefully inspect the plant for pests. I doubt that is an
issue, but check anyway.
Prune it back to shape, clean off the surface soil and mulch it with
compost. Don't hesitate to prune it back halfway, it will trigger new
growth. It does not like too much heat, but your zone should be
fine. The plant has medicinal uses including heart rate regulation.
Propagate using layering. I believe your plant will recover with one
pruning and mulching treatment. The plant has thick waxy leaves
making it resistant to wind, frost, and physical damage. I would
not rule out soil contamination, did you use salt on the driveway
during the winter?
My friend just moved in two days ago. But, the previous owner was pretty
frail, so I'll bet she salted the bejeezus out of the driveway. My friend
won't. She's a nurse. She thinks injuries are fascinating. :-)
I agree w/ Phisherman, it is a holly grape or grape holly. It's genus
is Mahonia (but sometimes listed as Berberis
as the experts can't agree on its genus yet. Could be M. aquifolium,
Oregon HG. It should be OK as to
cold so I am thinking the driveway salt is a good guess.
Oh, Phish, it doesn't mind the heat so much as the direct sun. It does
fine here in Nor Cal where we go
into the 100s+ every summer. Just likes early morning sun; a drought
tolereant, low water plant also.
On 4/19/09 3:00 PM, in article RwKGl.64073$0% firstname.lastname@example.org,
Looks almost like the salt damage my parents hollies got one year. The trees
were the victim of a really bad winter and more than the usual amount of
salt - both from the ocean and sanding truck. (They're on Cape Cod and only
a mile from the open water)
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