En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Further question on sprouts from holly tree in Surprise AZ

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - November 16, 2010

From: Surprise, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Shrubs
Title: Further question on sprouts from holly tree in Surprise AZ
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Thank you Barbara Medford for your response to my question about the sprouting holly tree in Surprise AZ. I took for granted that the tree I was talking about was a holly tree. I looked at pictures of the trees you suggested they might be.. but they are not. I thought it was a holly because of the shape of the leaf.. it is a scalloped leaf with needles on the ends.. the leaf looks just like a miniature holly leaf. Maybe you can help me ID it better. Again thanks for your help. P.S. The tree does get good water at all times of year (sprinkler system)

ANSWER:

The pictures we provided you were NOT a true holly, as we said. We will provide you with some pictures of holly leaves if that would help, but there still is NO holly native to Arizona. If it is a plant not native to North America at all, we will have no information on it. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown.

To reiterate what was in our previous answer:

"We checked in our Native Plant Database for all the Ilex (holly) genus that grow natively in Arizona and found there are none. That may be the first clue; plants that produce sprouts coming up from their roots are often stressed by environmental conditions and just trying to put out some survivors to carry on when the main plant dies. Growing in conditions hostile, or at least non-native, to a plant can certainly produce stress in that plant.

Nativity aside, if the house is not being lived in year-round and watering is not being done in the hot weather, the plant is just trying to get some leaves out on those sprouts to help survival if the leaves on the shrub proper shrivel up and die. About the only treatment for the sprouts is to cut them off, and keep cutting them off, near their base. You can't use a poison on the sprouts because they share the roots of the bush for nutrients and water. We are afraid that the choice of that plant for those particular circumstances probably has doomed it. We realize the plant was probably purchased locally, on the assumption that if it was sold there, it would thrive there. Unfortunately, too often this is not the case."

The fact remains, whether it is a holly or some other plant, perhaps non-native not only to Arizona but to North America, that the sprouts can only be eradicated by cutting them off with heavy duty pruners, as near to the root from which they spring as possible.

Our point on the watering and the soils had to do with the way trees should be watered, especially when they are new. Newly planted trees should receive deep watering by inserting a hose down into the soil and letting it drip, perhaps 2 times a week until the tree is well-established. In fact, depending on sprinkler systems is counter-productive; the water hitting the trunks and leaves of the trees could very well promote fungi, which would only make the problem worse.

Pictures of Ilex coriacea (Large gallberry) from Google.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Ilex ambigua


Ilex decidua


Ilex myrtifolia


Ilex opaca


Ilex verticillata

 

 

 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Brown dead spots on arborvitae in Hillsboro OR
October 12, 2009 - Hello. I live in Hillsboro, OR and have several mature arborvitae as a privacy screen in my backyard. They are on our side of a black chainlink fence separating our yard from a drainage area maintaine...
view the full question and answer

Problems with mature Blue Agave in Kenya
December 09, 2012 - I have a mature Agave plant and there is a thin black liquid that looks like oil starting to appear on the leaves. The plant plant seems to be dying (from the bottom up). (The plant is a blue Agave an...
view the full question and answer

Problems with fruit of Mexican Plum from McKinney TX
May 19, 2013 - MY Mexican plum tree (about 5 years old) has small fruit on it. Some of them are severely deformed, and look rotten almost. They are bumpy and ragged looking. Or they are pasty white,rotten and dried ...
view the full question and answer

Possible reasons for death of Wax Myrtle (Morella cerifera) in Austin
April 04, 2006 - Several wax myrtles in my neighborhood appear to have died. Should we have the soil or tree checked for fungus, or should we atrribute the death to freeze or age of the trees?
view the full question and answer

Black Sooty Mold on Bay Tree
February 25, 2013 - I have a large bay tree and all the leaves are covered with a black mold-like substance on the top part of the leaf. Under each leaf are some black/brown spots. I have washed the leaves with soap and ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center