Hello everyone. Hopefully you can help me. I have (2) Holly trees, approximately 8-9 feet tall, in front of my house. They have lost almost all of their leaves on the lower half of the tree, facing the house. They are losing leaves everywhere, but this is the worst place. Leaves are turning brown and falling off. Both of them are in similar (bad) shape. Some of the leaves seem to die from the tip, others seem to have the whole leave die at the same time.
Please see attached photos. I have lived here for (2) years and have never fertilized them. Not sure if it is a nutrition issue or disease issue.
Looking at your photos it deosnt look like a fungus, Holly does get afflicted with a black spot type fungus, it looks more like a lack of moisture. The taller the Holly Tree becomes the more it likes to drink. Have you had much rainfall of late? You can try givving them a good soaking and also some miracle grow in the water will help perk them up and give them the nutrients you need. What kind of soil are they planted in and how close to the house are they? If they are too sheltered maybe they arent getting enough water. Holly deos shed leaves at times during the year, but they normally yellow off a bit and then drop. If you have a male and a female tree or if there are other Hollies around you in the area where you live you should have had some sort of crop of berries in the fall and winter. The other result of this is that usually you will find lots of seedlings sprouting here and there in the garden as a result of the berries that have fallen. i just had to dig up and pot over 30 holly trees from my garden ranging from 6 inches high to 3 or 4 feet. These I will sell on as there is always a demand for this type of tree. If you could provide a bit more information it would be easier to diagnose your problem.
I checked the rain for the last month (accuweather.com) and it looks like we got about 2". Its pretty cool this time of year so I dont think thats the problem although we had a heat-wave (85 degreees last weekend) so this may have contributed if waster is the problem. A few of my other bushes have some brown spots that look like a lack of water.
I was out watering them today based on your posts and while I was doing this I noticed that there was a green moss/fungus growing on it. I have attached new pictures. Could this be it? I have 2 other Hollies (4 total) and they look better and only have a minimal amount of this growth on their trunks.
I do remember seeing this on the trunks last year and the trees seemed healthy so it may not ba a problem but I guess I'm not sure.
Looks pretty close to the house which may be stopping it from getting enough water. I would leave the hose pipe on it them for a while and give them a good dose of either miracle grow or epsom salts to replace any missing nutrients. The moss won't be a problem its pretty common on those trees.
I forgot to mention that you need to prune any drying dead branches and you can prune of the bottom couple of layers of branches to encourage the tree to grow straight up giving a little extra light around the base of the tree and also it will catch a bit more of the rainfall until the base starts to spread outwards again. Holly grows very well in the shade, is very cold and frost tolerant a couple of months of lying snow wouldnt harm it but it deos need water.