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Variegated standard holly tree

My dad has a variegated standard holly tree in thier garden, it's a golden king variety. It needs pruning now as it's grown quite large, say 10ft high with a canopy spread of 8ft and has grown to large for the space now, the canopy starts about 4 ft up the main trunk. Looking under the canopy there are a number of crisscrossed branches some are quite thick, how and when can I prune it so I can reduce the spread of the canopy by half, if I cut to far back into the canopy where no leaves are will it kill the tree off as the leaves only go about 2 ft in. I've read on the gardeners world page  it can be pruned in March. So as long as I cut out the dead, damaged, deceased branches and disorderly branches just after a node will it be ok, obviously the tree will be bare of leaves then. 
Cheers An Gon


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 15,874
    You can cut a holly back quite hard, and it will resprout from brown wood.  It will look bad for a bit, but so long as the trunk is sound, it will regrow.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • SlaterSlater Posts: 11
    Thank you fidgetbones for your reply, yes the trunk is very sound, it's just needs a good pruning to resize the tree 
    Cheers An Gon
  • SlaterSlater Posts: 11
    Woukd I need to use any products on the larger branches where I prune to heal where I've pruned 
    Cheers An Gon
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,507
    Current best practice is not to seal pruning cuts 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,271
    It's an evergreen tree, so only dead leaves occasionally fall off.  Do the pruning slowly, constantly standing back and walking around to check you are keeping the overall shape - a lollipop.
  • SlaterSlater Posts: 11
    Thank you dove from above and lizzie much appreciated for your advice, yes I will keep looking at the shape as I prune the tree not had a good prune in years 
    Cheers An Gon
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