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Sky Pencil Holly

Thread starter #1
Messages
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Location
Southern Iowa
Planting Zone
5a
Hello everyone!
I'm pondering planting some sky pencil holly shrubs/trees staggered behind my emerald green arborvitae trees in case I lose one of them. When I research SPH, it says they are far zone 5, but it says hardy to -10*. Does anyone here have experience with SPH, and can they withstand colder than -10*? We do seem to have milder winters here (over the last 15-20 years), but occasionally, with W. chill, it can go down to -30 to -40 below. I just don't want to plant them and then have them die. Thank-you for all information.
These would be planted on the east side of our property.
 

Mr_Yan

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,289
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571
Location
Northern IL
Planting Zone
4b
I don't know about the sky pencil variety but I have some holly around my place. I'm boarderline zones 5 and 4.

Originally we planted 5 holly bushes 11 years ago but the plantings were hit and miss and I think it was all based on the amount of protection offered in the winter.

1 bush - north side of the house, solid shade all day, protected from wind but no general care given to it. It is small but still there. Mostly overgrown by hosta and ferns.

1 bush - south side of house now under a peach tree. Growing very low and rambling so it looks mostly like a ground cover patch 6' in diameter. Every few years the top parts get heavily winter killed. I think the lower parts are covered by snow and protected but the exposed high parts get killed.

1 bush - away from the house on the north side of a fence, under old tall scraggly pines. Did terribly. I just cut it out today oddly enough.

1 bush - away from the house under a maple on the west side of a fence. Died years ago.

1 bush - next to the trash cans at the corner of a detatched garage along the alley. Gets all the snow from the driveway thrown on it. This one has done great. Looks like a 6' green ball now. I think the snow cover each year protects it and has kept it doing so well.

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Have you thought about other options? Is evergreen a requirement?

Redtwig dogwood has done really well but will drop leafs each year.
 
Thread starter #5
Messages
9
Likes
2
Location
Southern Iowa
Planting Zone
5a
Thank-you for responding, Mr_Yan.
Oh yes, I'm kicking around other options; I just thought I would begin w/ those SPH as they are so narrow. I'm going to keep researching evergreens at this point due to we have dogs and I'm trying to get a screen going so they can't see our neighbors (less barking). I'm also kind of an evergreen freak to be honest; I just love how they look in the winter.
I've seen pictures of that redtwig dogwood. It looks very pretty, especially against snow.
 
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