What’s causing the edges of my holly leaves to go gray?

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    trippwesttrippwest
    Greenhorn
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    The leaves of my holly bushes have gone gray, almost as if they were burned with a lighter. What is causing this? Winter burn? Lack of water?20221229_160651

    20221229_160128

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    Nate from N&GNate from N&G
    Green Thumb (moderator)
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    Hello trippwest, welcome to the forum! Thanks for adding clear pictures. I’m sure you’ll get an answer soon!

    welcome-to-our-forum


    Nature & Garden moderator.
    Message me if you have any questions, I’ll be glad to help out!


    “Winter reveals the strength inside… of those who dare go out!”

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    lunasollunasol
    Greenhorn
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    Hi

    Perhaps I can throw in my own two pence. At first given the shape of the wounds, I thought it might be some rabid caterpillar. It looked like something was chowing down on it. But it’s not the season for that, and then your comment that it “seemed burned” rang a bell.

    In winter, dry winds can “desiccate” portions of leaves. It dries them out and since sap moves slowly, new water can’t be fed into the leaf fast enough and it dies out.

    Here’s a picture I found on another website:

    holly-with-gray-spot

    It matches your own pictures nearly perfectly, except that the dead portion has already fallen out on your own hollies.

    They say that based on the Clemson extension office, this is winter damage, a combination of cold weather and dry wind.

    The spots won’t heal of course, but new ones won’t appear unless more cold, dry wind appear. To protect your hollies, I’d try to set up a simple windbreaker for the end of the cold season, like a pair of poles with a tarp or cloth or bamboo fence.

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    lunasollunasol
    Greenhorn
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    And by the way… happy new year! Excellent to be chatting about holly just today!

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