Ilex aquifolium 'Alaska' is a relatively small and extremely hardy holly. It is a female, self pollinating tree that produces lots of pretty red berries in Autumn/Winter, Alaska has narrow, dark glossy green leaves and produces white flowers in May.
These holly trees have been grown as a standard which means that the holly has been allowed to branch forming a lollipop or mop style head. Holly trees are easy to keep to shape with just a couple of trimmings per year (one in late autumn gives fantastic material for making a door wreath or table decorations for Christmas!)
Where more than one tree is ordered we will do our best to match up trees to work well together. We also provide full care notes with every order. Hollies, like other standards will look great in pots as well as in the ground, we recommend http://www.vasotoscano.com/ for frostproof terracotta pots.
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Situation Open Close
†Holly (Ilex) and Viburnum tinus topiary is very adaptable; being happy in full sun, part shade or full shade. Watering just needs to be adjusted accordingly.†Holly and Viburnum tinus suit all soil types apart from waterlogged! In a container, a soil based compost such as John Innes No.3 with added organic matter and coarse grit to aid stability and drainage would be ideal.
Feeding and Watering Open Close
Containerised topiary plants rely on you for all their feed and watering requirements. Feed with a general purpose fertilizer such as Vitax Q4 once a month from Apr†-Jul. Discolouration of foliage is usually due to lack of feeding.
Pruning: As a minimum,†prune†topiary during early June then again in October to shape it up†ready for†winter. Alternatively, trim little and often throughout the growing season. Use secateurs to avoid leaving cut leaves. Prune Viburnum tinus after flowering if necessary but bear in mind that the flowers will go on to produce very attractive berries for the autumn-winter.†
Don't rely on rainfall to water containerised topiary; the foliage is so dense that little if any rain would reach the soil. Luckily however, holly is a very tough plants. Water container grown plants throughout the growing season (Apr-Sept). The frequency very much depends on the sun/shade situation of the plants and the weather conditions. Waterlogging can also be a problem if the container does not drain between waterings.
Pests and Diseases Open Close
Discolouration of foliage is usually due to feed and/or watering requirements - see above. On holly, low numbers of yellow leaves is part of the natural shedding process; these can just be picked off if too unsightly. However, if an excessive amount of yellow leaves appear this can be a symptom of waterlogging - check the compost.