Do Holly Trees Have Deep Roots? (And Are They Invasive?)

No matter how much you love a type of plant, it is always important to do your research before purchasing and planting it in your garden or general yard. The reason for this is that some types of plants, trees, bushes, etc., might have a negative effect on your yard or foundation.

One popular type of tree that people like to plant in their gardens is the Holly tree. These trees are also known as llex aquifolium and are most commonly used during Christmas. However, it has been labeled an invasive plant in some places.

In this article, we will try to figure out if a Holly plant truly is invasive and if it is appropriate for your garden or yard.

Holly Plant Tree

Do Holly Trees Have Invasive Roots?

Invasive roots are roots that can interfere with the surrounding environment. This includes homes, streets, and pipes, to name a few things it can disturb while it is growing.

Holly trees have roots that are deep, which we will touch on later. The type of root this plant has is a taproot, meaning that one root grows straight down. All the smaller roots grow out from that main root.

Since the Holly tree has a lot of smaller roots and is normally planted in groups, this gives them an even bigger chance of becoming invasive. So, while certain factors need to be at play, the overall answer is yes. Holly trees can indeed have invasive roots.

How Deep are Holly Tree Roots?

Holly tree roots grow very deep into the dirt. To be specific, the roots can grow about seventeen to twenty-five inches underneath the dirt. This is pretty far into the ground when you think about it.

If you look at the type of root system the Holly plant has, it is no wonder the tree roots are so deep. The taproot system is overly complex and the smaller roots that grow out of the one large root it has would require a decent amount of room to work properly.

Can Holly Tree Roots Damage a Foundation?

The Holly tree roots put all of your pipes, overall foundation, plumbing, etc., at risk of getting damaged. The best way to prevent this damage is to ensure your Holly plants are properly taken care of and consider planting them away from anything the roots could damage should they get out of control.

One nickname that Holly Plants have been given is Foundation Plants. This is because they are a popular choice for homeowners to plant around their houses.

Nonetheless, one thing to keep in mind before planting this tree is that the roots do have a chance of becoming invasive. This increases if they do not get a proper amount of water, sunlight, and all the other nutrients they require to survive. At that point, the tree roots might start to branch out far away from the original root system.

Can Holly Grow Back From Roots?

Yes, Holly plants can grow back from the roots. Once the remaining roots absorb water and minerals from the soil, the plants can grow again. Hence, ensure you pull up as much root as possible to minimize the chances.

If your Holly plant is giving you any trouble, the best option is to cut it down or remove it so it cannot cause any more damage to your yard and/or garden.

Sometimes, the mere mention of removing your Holly plant might cause you to immediately balk at these words. However, at times, that’s the only option for the homeowner.

Remember that Holly bushes can be invasive, so sometimes the only option is to remove the plant completely from your garden or yard. If all you do is cut it down and leave the roots in the dirt, the Holly plant can grow back at some point.

Alternatively, you can opt to transplant the Holly plant instead of completely eliminating it. This is a great choice for those who want to keep their Holly plant alive.

Either way, you need to remove the roots from the original spot it was planted in. Keeping the roots there just is not an option if you want to protect the overall foundation of your house and yard.

Holly Plant

How Long Does a Holly Tree Live?

A Holly tree can live as long as a hundred to even a hundred and fifty years or beyond. Actually, the oldest Holly tree in existence lived to be about 600 years old in Spain.

This is obviously not the norm. Chances are your Holly plant will not live to be six hundred years old, but it could very well outlive a person’s average lifespan. Helping a Holly plant live for a couple of decades is not something that is going to be easy. It will require a lot of work and tending from the gardener.

Proper watering, giving it the right amount of sunlight, taking care of it during drastic temperature changes, and ensuring the Holly plant has a good supply of nutrients are just some things you can do to help it along.

Who knows, you will end up with a six-hundred-year-old Holly plant in your backyard? You will not know it, but it will be quite the story for your future generations.

Can You Plant Holly Bushes Near a House?

While visually they may look great when you see them around the perimeter of your house, the fact of the matter is it is a bad spot to put Holly plants. Keep a distance of about two feet from the house or even more if they must be near your house.

Holly tree roots are extraordinarily strong, which could be dangerous for your house. The best way to prevent them from affecting the foundation of your house or underground pipes is to plant them a good distance away from it.

So, to prevent problems, do not plant Holly plants too close to the house. Even if they could be used as privacy and a way to deter robbers, it is not worth it in the end.

Will Holly Bushes Grow Back if Cut Down?

Yes, Holly bushes can grow back if cut down. If the Holly plant’s roots are left in the dirt, then the plants can grow back. To inhibit growth, remove the entire whole plant.

One way to do that is to starve the roots from getting sun, but this seems cruel to a plant. The easier and more humane option is just to remove it.

However, you can rest easy if you intend to trim or cut your Holly plant to prepare for the changing seasons. They will grow back even after you cut them. This is provided they get a decent amount of sun, of course.

Holly Plant Regrows

What Do Holly Tree Roots Look Like?

At first glance, the roots of Holly plants resemble little tendrils or tentacles emerging from the tree’s root. The tap roots may appear a little strange the first time you look at them, but many smaller roots can emerge from the main one. This just further proves that Holly plants are very invasive.

Their roots are so large, deep, and overwhelming. They are lovely plants to look at and grow in your garden or yard. However, you have to consider whether you want to take a risk. For homeownership and how expensive homes are nowadays, sometimes the risk is not worth it.

Final Thoughts

And there is everything you need to know about Holly plants and their roots, my fellow garden lovers. Holly tree roots are very deep and can easily become invasive depending on how many holly plants you have and if you take care of them properly.

The best way to avoid any issues is by keeping these plants at least two feet away from your house, giving them all the water and nutrients, they need, and making sure they get an adequate amount of sunlight during the day.

By doing this, you might either eventually have a six-hundred-year-old Holly plant on your hands or one that will damage none of your personal property. Both options sound promising.

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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.