It was introduced to America during the Civil War and was cultivated in Japan for who-knows-how-many centuries before that. Because the shrub's height and bulk are created by many separate branches growing vertically from the base, it's easier to form the ball from several branches instead of just one. Dig the planting hole as deep as the root ball and two to three times wider. Place the plant in the hole with the top of the root ball level with or slightly higher than the surrounding soil. Boxwood While all hedges should be pruned so that their tops are much narrower than the bottoms, this is especially helpful—and easy—with a hedge of 'Sky Pencil', whose habit is naturally narrow to begin with. At maturity it may put on a bit of weight around the middle, but so far has not exceeded 2 feet in diameter. I see some websites listing Sky Pencil … With a more trunk-forming species, you'd form this top ball exclusively from growth from the trunk's tip. Sky Pencil Japanese Holly - 3 Gallon Pot With its upright habit and narrow columnar form the Sky Pencil Holly is sure to put an exclamation point on your landscape! Let the shrub grow the rest of the season, but in Fall be sure to tie a firm but not strangling spiral of twine around the entire shrub, so it holds its shape through Winter snows; you can remove the spiral in Spring. Or how about an entire grove of 'Sky Pencil' rocketing upward from a large bed of Miscanthus 'Morning Light' or Andropogon gerardii? I have a 14-inch wide area between foundation wall ... Q. Sky Pencil Japanese Holly is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a narrowly upright and columnar growth habit. You don’t have to worry about coming in contact with the plant because the leaves aren’t prickly as with other types of holly shrubs. Spring, but holly flowers are small and not showy. Shiny, dark evergreen leaves and tight upright branching make this a must have plant. Best Time To Transplant Sky Pencil Holly - When is the best time to transplant sky pencil holly? Sky Pencil Holly is a relatively slow-growing, columnar shrub that reaches 4-10 feet in height, with width only about 1/3 of that. ‘Will Fleming’ is a male plant. After the topiary is more mature (and therefore a bit hardier), you can also do light pruning in late Fall, after there's no chance of encouraging new growth that would have no time to harden off before Winter. See more ideas about sky pencil holly, landscape, plants. There used to be tall over grown red tips in the same row before the hollies, I tried trimming the red tips back thinking that they'd grow back thicker, well they never grew back, so I cut them down, removed the stumps and planted the hollies. My longtime friend Ken Druse, author of many books including “The New Shade Garden” and “Making More But the best part of our Sky Pencil Holly … Q. Does anyone have any experience with this plant? You want to be able to appreciate the great structure of these specimen plants. The first thing you’ll notice is its narrow, columnar shape. This succulent shrub sprouts pencil-shaped branches and small leaves grow from the tips. Planting in the Fall Brings Healthier, Better-Developed Roots that Deliver Explosive Growth for Your Landscape Next Spring! Sky Pencil Holly Spacing. Most experts recommend 1 male for every 5 female hollies. This form of Japanese Holly only grows to about a metre and a half tall. One of few plants with branches that grow upward. And of course, don't plant anything close to a water line or sewer pipe. As you backfill the hole, press down with your foot from time to time to remove air pockets. They produce small, greenish flowers and female plants produce tiny, black berries, but neither is particularly ornamental. How many males do you need? Unless you're gardening in Zone 7, plant 'Sky Pencil' only in the Spring. Easily identifiable by its upright, columnar growth habit, the "Sky Pencil" holly (Ilex crenata "Sky Pencil) works well as an accent plant, container specimen or a natural screen when planted in mass. It can be a big helpf I you add some healthy stock in the loamy soil. The column is narrowest at the base, slowly tapering out the higher it goes. The latter has the additional talent of being showy all Winter, too. They are about 7-8' tall. If there is any tip damage by the end of Winter, prune that off in early Spring. Pound at least a foot deep, preferably two. Depending on where you look it up, 'Sky Pencil' is listed as hardy to Zone 6/7, which would make it marginal in a pot where you are. Because a narrow plant is more exciting the taller it gets—and a tall and narrow plant with a ball on top is more exciting still—you'll want to let your 'Sky Pencil' grow for a number of years before starting its training. ... Sky Pencil Holly Tree. Fall is Here & It's The Best Time to Plant! Shop Fall Color! What you must do is to avoid over watering the shrub. Of course, … When my own shrub reached 6 feet tall, its width was only 12 inches at the widest point. Depending on training, four to six times as tall as it is wide. Last year we had a significant amount of heavy snow that weighed down on the branches of our sky pencil holly, causing the branches to splay out horizontally. Myrtle's easy when the conditions are right. If you're establishing 'Sky Pencil' in the colder end of Zone 6, and even into Zone 5, enhance its hardiness by planting only where it has excellent Winter drainage (on a slope, no matter how slight), and where it has some buffering from the wind. Best Time To Transplant Sky Pencil Holly - When is the best time to transplant sky pencil holly? If you're growing 'Sky Pencil' at the front of a bed, it could erupt from a mound of variegated palm sedge, Allow for the bush's mature width and height in your choice of siting, then you'll never have to prune 'Sky Pencil'. Unique and with a style all its own, Sky Pencil holly (Ilex crenata ‘Sky Pencil’) is a versatile plant with dozens of uses in the landscape. Add some architecture to your garden or decorative container with this narrow, conical seedling of 'Sky Pencil' holly. I keep mine rail-thin all Winter despite the weather, with a quick spiral of twine from bottom to top—and then back down to the bottom—each Fall. its foliage: Narrow dark-green leaves crowd the branches, and are reliably evergreen down into Zone 5. its habit: 'Sky Pencil' is exceptionally narrow in youth; even when growing free-range, it's impressively upright. Pencil Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata 'Fastigiata'): Sometimes we might need a plant with a narrow form that is not a tall tree. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage. To plant holly, dig a hole two to three times the width of the plant's root ball. Sign up for twice-monthly eNews, plus notification of new posts: New England Home Design Blog, Winter 2015, The Washington Post — "Can a Garden be Too Bee-Friendly? Mix some compost with the fill dirt if your soil is heavy clay or sand. Ask local nurseries which plants are particularly hardy where you garden. They are grown primarily for their interesting shape. Pruned stems branch out in response, making the surface of the hedge more and more finely filled-in. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Plant in well drained soil and water regularly to establish and then weekly or more often during periods of drought or extreme heat. Japanese holly is one of the most important broadleaved evergreens for gardens in Zones 5, 6, and 7. ("Call 811 before you dig!") Q. There are hundreds of varieties, ranging from tiny shrubs less than a foot tall to towering trees. To determine whether the plant you have is a 'Blue Prince' holly or an unfertilized 'Blue Princess,' examine the flowers, located between the leaf and branch joint. "Sky Pencil" (Ilex crenata) is a Japanese holly cultivar developed by the U.S. National Arboretum that features an unusually narrow, upright habit. Hi all, I would like to plant several 'sky pencil' (Ilex crenata) holly at the corners of my house, to add some height. Plant boxwood in the fall or spring. Sign up for our newsletter. This shrubs' leaves are a glossy, dark green color with a bluish cast to them and are moderately spiny. Open pollinated seed was collected from the seed (female) parent, Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil' (unpatented). Don't worry about buying large plants; small ones will grow faster than you think, and in three years will look no different than the large ones. Large foliage is always a satisfying counterpart to small. Growing Zones: 5-9 Up to 8% off. ", Good Housekeeping Magazine — "Secrets of a Small Garden" — Secrets & How-To's. Hello, I have done a ton of research for a shrub/tree that will stay very narrow (2 feet max) and get at least 8' tall in full sun AND be evergreen. Ilex aquifolium Holly trees (Ilex aquifolium) can tolerate either sun and shade. The rebar will be hidden by the height of the hedge, and yet is very accessible each Fall in advance of Winter storms. Fertilize Sky Pencil hollies in spring with one pound of 10-6-4 or special broadleaf evergreen fertilizer per inch (2.5 cm.) Ilex crenata is native to Japan; 'Sky Pencil' is native to Japan also, where it was discovered in the wild. In zones 8 and 9, provide protection from harsh afternoon sun. Let the hedge-plants grow on their own for a full year, even two, before you start pruning. The plant I keep coming back to is Sky Pencil Holly. Retie the branches that form the ball, so their increasing girth doesn't become pinched by an out-of-date tie. Read on to find out how to plant a Sky Pencil holly and how easy it is to care for this interesting plant. Roots shouldn't be allowed to dry so apply water if you're taking a break before transplanting the shrub. Little Gem Magnolia Tree. If you prune in the Fall, the shrub won't get the extra bit of Winter protection that would be provided to the plants' interior by the foliage and small branches you'll be pruning off the exterior. Instead, they appear as individual plants. Formerly sold as Sky Pointer ®. Unlike, say, boxwood, whose foliage crowds the outer extent of growth, creating a uniform "paving" of foliage and leaving a largely leafless and open-branched interior, Ilex crenata always maintains a deeper texture. Planting Holly Trees Holly requires well-drained, slightly acidic, fertile soil. 'Sky Pencil' will, nearly always, be container-grown, and establishes easily at any size available. Sky Pencil Holly Care. If the soil can be acid and humus-rich—like you'd provide for your best rhododendrons and azaleas—so much the better. How Do You Treat Sky Pencil Holly Disease? - The shrub has patches of dry leaves that looks like disease or insect. Here are some tips: Plants between 3 inches (7.6 cm) and 2 feet (61 cm) tall will grow in a 4 inches (10 cm) deep container. - The shrub has patches of dry leaves that looks like disease or insect. As long as you avoid the most extreme temperatures during the year, your boxwoods will be fine. Shape this shrub to get the exact look you want, whether you prefer a rounded or more angular look. It grows tall enough to be showy even at the back of deep borders, where its bottom four to six feet might not be visible from June through frost. Measure and dig the holes with uniform spacing so the center of each hole is the same distance between plant. (And see that great little evergreen hedge behind them.) With the exception of a few variegates and gold-leaved cultivars, the foliage is a dignified dark green—much darker than Ilex crenata's counterpart in all of these diversities, boxwood, whose leaves are noticeably lighter green. I want to make a hedge of them for privacy in my front yard (see picture below). The first thing you’ll notice is its narrow, columnar shape. Q. Root System For Sky Pencil Hollies - How far does the root system extend for sky pencil hollies? They look well-groomed without much pruning, and you can use them in formal gardens alongside neatly sheared plants. This improved hybrid holly, 'RutHol 1', was developed by Dr. John M. Ruter, renowned plant breeder and researcher at the University of Georgia. If you need some instant definition or strategic screening in your yard, Sky Pencil Holly (Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil') works beautifully all year long.It's sure to turn heads wherever you plant one. In colder Zone 6 and into Zone 5, prune only in early Spring, before growth begins; you'll cut off any Winter kill, as well as give the shrubs the most time to produce new growth and harden it off before the next Winter. Instead, you could use thinning cuts to keep them short, never removing more than a third of the plant. The Fall "twining" is my opportunity to, literally, give this great holly a hug, a thanks for another exciting season as one of the pinnacles of my garden. They will stay narrow and grow together providing a cool looking hedge. All the branches arise from the bottom; there isn't a trunk per se. Q. Click on links below to jump to that question. Staggered Double Row Planting If you plant two staggered rows of the same or similar sized evergreen plants or trees, you can space the plants further apart in each row and still achieve a solid screen. I planted about 50 sky pencil hollies about three months ago. You can still have an exciting garden, full of flowers and color and wildlife. When a holly grows too large, however, you may need to move it. So far, my Ilex crenata collection is skimpy indeed: Just six cultivars. Starting at $19.95 52. of organic mulch over the root zone to help keep the soil moist, and water often until the plant is established and growing. Established plants need watering only during dry spells. Sky Pencil can handle pruning to keep it at a lower height if desired. It will be challenging to do this long-term. And make sure there are no underground utilities before you dig. It produces black berries from mid fall to late winter. Looking to screen an area but don't have much space? T HERE IS ONE punctuation mark I shy away from in writing that I should, however, use more in the garden. However, if you do know how to take care of the plant, it is less likely to happen. We include planting instruction along with a care tag to ensure planting your Holly Sky Pencil is everything you … 'Sky Pencil' doesn't form trunk-like branches, though. "Pencil" evergreens often have trouble keeping themselves together after a heavy snow. The Pencil Tree is a slow growing plant that can grow up to 5 feet (1.5 m) tall. Sky Pencil hollies are rated for USDA plant hardiness zones 6 through 9. This allows you to use them as architectural plants to frame a door or entryway or on decks and patios. And very few shrubs can give you this kind of height without encroaching on nearby plants. Pencil Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata 'Fastigiata'): Sometimes we might need a plant with a narrow form that is not a tall tree. This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. If there is any tip damage by the end of Winter, prune that off in early Spring. Starting two feet from the ground, weave twine between the shrubs, tying it to each rebar as you come across them. Holly Shrubs For Zone 5: Growing Holly Plants In Zone 5, Entryway Plant List: Choosing A Plant For Front Entrances, Boxwood Shrub Pests – Tips On Controlling Boxwood Insects, DIY Christmas Fairy Gardens – Fairy Garden Ideas For Christmas, Christmas Tree Alternatives: Making A Boxwood Tabletop Tree, DIY Flower Pot Christmas Tree: Making A Terra Cotta Christmas Tree, Winterizing Jasmine Plants: Caring For Jasmine During Winter, What Is Light Shade: Tips On Gardening With Plants In Light Shade, Greenhouse Irrigation: Tips For Watering Greenhouse Plants, What Is Tree Wound Dressing: Is It Ok To Put Wound Dressing On Trees, Evergreen Favorite: Container Grown Olive Trees, Evergreens In My Heart – Three Must Have Evergreen Trees, Decisions, Decisions: Choosing An Evergreen In The Landscape, Spruce Trees For Landscaping - Spruce It Up With Evergreens. Be patient. 'Sky Pencil' is a female, so will also bear black berries, but they aren't showy, either. If left to grow naturally, it grows no more than 2 feet (.6 m.) wide, and you can prune it to just a foot (.3 m.) in width. You will like the texture and year-round color or this holly in group plantings. Then top all of the branches you didn't tie together; cut them to form the flat surface upon which the ball will appear to rest. About 5 of them have turned brown and some are losing their leaves. These further cultivar and pollination notes come from the University of Connecticut: The holly bush is a broad-leaf evergreen popular in landscape design for its versatility. It would be difficult to have a garden without at least one cultivar of Japanese holly, and even modest gardens might have several. This will allow the bushes to touch without overcrowding each other. Dense and rigid, but not with a "tight" surface. They are about 7-8' tall. Allergic to bees? Plant the holly at the same depth that it was previously growing. 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