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Plant Diseases/Dragon Lady Holly Tree


Stripping on bark,not holes is causing slow death of holly tree?
Not woodpecker as some people have suggested cause there are no holes????
Any suggestions

Dear Jon, It sounds like you may have borers.  Borers commonly cause weeping oozing holes in trees, large cankerous areas, sometimes cause other bark sloughing, limb dieback etc.  It would be a very good idea to spray with a borer treatment product like Fertilome Borer Bagworm Leafminer product.  That or another borer treatment, plus pruning off of all limbs that have the bark stripped around them (because those branches will die), and trimming of any loose bark will give you a good chance to save the tree.  Any places where the bark is loose must be removed as it provides hiding areas for the borers plus the bark is no longer living if it isn't next to the tree.  Incidentally, the woodpeckers don't primarily damage the trees.  They are responding to the sounds of borers moving under the bark of trees and that is why they peck holes in trees - to remove and eat the borers.  If the bark is stripping, it's hard for the woodpeckers to get a bite in.  Anyway, I'm sorry if your tree cannot be saved, but do the pruning, trimming and spraying and if it can be saved, it will pull through.  I hope this information helps.  Write back if you have further question.  Good luck, Melissa

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Melissa Johnston


Plant diseases, landscaping, tropical plants, roses, herbs, plant care, grafting, horticulture, plant identification, anything about plants I can likely answer.


35 years experience in various plant businesses, 1984 Certified Texas Master Gardener.

Master Gardener Association of Texas charter member

none as of yet, but I have a plant q&a book I am in process of submitting.

Magna cum laude graduate of Texas A&M, 1978

Awards and Honors
Plant growing awards, highest grade for Texas Master Gardener graduates.

Past/Present Clients
Past member of and was very highly rated. Owned landscape company in the past, Almost Paradise, and was very successful despite little equipment, no help, and no advertising. Lived well for two years until 9/11.

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