Chinese Holly ILEX CORNUTA

Description & features

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Product description

ILEX CORNUTA – Chinese Holly

Characteristics

Chinese holly, also known as horned holly, is a dense evergreen shrub or small tree with interesting, glossy leaves similar to those of English holly, but with a more angular outline, for the spikes are found at the tip and base of the leaf. Young leaves have an almost tulip-shaped outline, being rounded at the base with three spikes at the tip, but more often, the base has two spikes. The berries are also red, but larger than those of our native holly. Chinese holly is also more vigorous.

As it grows in a dense fashion, Chinese holly is useful for screening and for adding evergreen structure to planting schemes. As a small tree it will reach 5m, as a shrub, 4m

Where to grow

Tolerant of most well-drained soils and any aspect, from shade to full sun.

Did you know?

This holly is traditionally used in Chinese medicine and its has been scientifically shown to contain anti-inflammatory chemicals.

Features

Mature height
Very Small up to 5 metres
Spread
0-5 metres
Shape / habit
Round Headed
Growth rate
Slow
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
All Sun levels
Difficulty / hard to grow
Easy
Evergreen / Deciduous
Evergreen
Season of interest
Autumn
Winter
Spring
Summer
Leaf
Green
Foliage
Dense
Flower colour
White
Flowering month
April
Thorny?
Yes
Berries / fruit colour
Red
Hedging
Evergreen Hedge
Uses
Screening
Small garden Tree
City/Urban Sites

Features

Mature height
Very Small up to 5 metres
Spread
0-5 metres
Shape / habit
Round Headed
Growth rate
Slow
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
All Sun levels
Difficulty / hard to grow
Easy
Evergreen / Deciduous
Evergreen
Season of interest
Autumn
Winter
Spring
Summer
Leaf
Green
Foliage
Dense
Flower colour
White
Flowering month
April
Thorny?
Yes
Berries / fruit colour
Red
Hedging
Evergreen Hedge
Uses
Screening
Small garden Tree
City/Urban Sites

Aftercare

For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.

Watering

The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water.  It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree.  In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.

Weed Control

One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass.  When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree.  It is vital for 3 years after planting that your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one  metre wide completely free of grass.  The way to eliminate grass in order of effectiveness is:

  1. Spray off the grass with a glyphosate based weed killer such as Roundup.  Apply each year for the first 3 years.  It is best applied when the tree is dormant as it is absorbed through green leaves and kills the plant off at the roots.
  2. Firmly fit a mulch mat around the base of the tree by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this.  This can be done after the initial spraying with glyphosate and should avoid the need for further spraying.

Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem.  Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.

Staking

If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree.  Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm.  The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots.   Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.

Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.

  • 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
  • 100/125, 125/150  1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
  • 150/175  1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.

Ties

Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping.  These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens.  Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.

Protection from Animal Damage

Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees.  Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge.  Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.


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