Collected Yaupon holly

Luckily I was able to collect/save 5 holly’s last week and place them into grow-box’s. The trees were going to be removed with a tractor and tossed out or burned. This is my first time working with Yaupon holly and am very excited.

Wow, looks like big project - will be fun to watch the progress!

Collecting the trees took a lot longer than I was expecting but overall a great learning experience. It ended up taking just as long to chopstick the soil as it did to collect the material. I am planning to keep the holly’s inside the grow-boxes without any pruning over the next 2 years. If anyone has any tips or suggestions I would like the input. Thanks

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For the next full year or so the main thing is to get the trees really healthy. The main way to do that will be watching the watering carefully - not too much or too little. Once the tree starts growing, moderate fertilizer.

When the shoots you want to use as primary branches are big enough to wire, you can start setting the primary branches. Then let them grow for up to another year before trimming.

Those are the basic starting points.

Thanks for the advice. I have been watching water very closely. The grow box’s are to heavy to move every time it rains so I have been running in and out of the house with tarps. Also applying rhizotonic once a week during watering. Spagnum Moss will be removed off surface in 1 month. Any suggestions on fertilizer brand or type?

Whatever local, inexpensive, and organic options you have are likely a good place to start when it comes to fertilizer.

Update: trees are finally showing tiny buds starting to pop out of main branching. The buds and leaves that are showing up are a deep purple color. To be honest unsure on species now any ideas? If I were to do it all over again I would cut branches so a tiny amount of leaves stayed on no matter length. I can say that whatever the species is old wood will for sure back bud.

Not sure about the color, but the shape of some leaves do look like Yaupon holly. Will be interesting to see if the leaf color or shape changes as the growth matures.

Another update photo

Wow - that’s some fantastic growth! When the tree slows down a bit, you can go in and start making decisions about which shoots to keep and which to cut.

Yaupon holly has started pushing new growth on old wood and the leaves have started to darken up. Some of the inner growth has also started that die I assume this is due to lack of sun. Still have entirely no clue on direction to take this tree. Any suggestions on what branches to keep or possible style options…? Thanks in advance.

One approach that might help you figure out what to keep would be to thin out the clusters of branches and only keep a few new shoots in any given location where you think you want branches. I’d do this in fall or next year after the tree has a chance to develop more roots.

With less foliage it’s easier to see the structure of the branches and make styling decisions.