Arbutus: Will Holly kill Arbutus?

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by Holly or arbutus, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. Holly or arbutus

    Holly or arbutus Member

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    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    I have a fairly large Arbutus just east of Gibsons BC, located near the ocean, which is looking very unhealthy. Some branches have no leaves, other branches only have black shriveled up leaves, while the higher branches tend to be the only ones with any reasonably healthy looking leaves. The tree is about 5' from the intersection of two compacted but lightly used gravel driveways that each serve about 4 or 5 residences, while a paved road is about 20' to the west of the tree. Across from the paved road (+/-100'), and directly to the south of the tree, is quite forested with a mix of large firs and deciduous trees. From what I can tell, there have been no changes to the trees immediate surroundings in many, many years, with the exception of the surrounding trees growing in height and creating more shade particularly in winter. The road on the west side ensures direct year round sun from early to mid / late afternoon, while the tree probably also gets year round easterly morning sun, with the southerly sun likely being more abundant in the summer. I suspect the Arbutus trees health is slowly being compromised by the increased shade of the surrounding trees combined with the compacted soil of the nearby driveways and paved road. But on top of these conditions, there is a +/- 20 - 25' high holly tree growing within a foot of the Arbutus tree. I suspect the Holly tree is also causing added stress to the Arbutus, so I'm wondering if cutting the Holly down will likely help save the Arbutus tree? Or are the other stresses I've outlined likely to doom the Arbutus regardless of whether the Holly stays or goes?
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    WA USA (Z8)
    Cut it down anyway, holly (Ilex aquifolium) is an invasive pest in this region that needs to be curtailed before we have thousands more of it in our parks and woodlots. Have a consulting arborist evaluate the arbutus.

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