How to Kill Holly Bushes


Prickly and prevalent, holly bushes return with a vengeance if you simply cut the top off the bush. To completely rid yourself of the bush, you must dig it up. This method, though requiring more physical labor, produces more instantaneous results than using a weed killer on the stump. Digging up the plant will protect nearby plants from damage incurred from using a herbicide.

Step 1

Cut off the leaves and branches of the holly bush with a hedge trimmer or shears.

Step 2

Saw the main stem (trunk) as close to the ground as possible with a wood saw.

Step 3

Push the end of a shovel into the ground 2 feet away from the stump.

Step 4

Create a ring around the holly bush by pushing the shovel into the ground 2 feet from the stump of the holly bush.

Step 5

Dig 1 to 2 feet down into the ground within this ring around the bush stump, using the end of the shovel to cut through any roots you encounter.

Step 6

Lift the base of the stump from the center of the circle as soon as you can get your shovel under its base.

Step 7

Discard the parts of the holly bush with other yard waste.

Things You'll Need

  • Holly bush
  • Hedge trimmer or shears
  • Saw
  • Shovel or spade


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Keywords: kill bush, holly, shrub

About this Author

Athena Hessong began her freelance writing career in 2004. She draws upon experiences and knowledge gained from teaching all high school subjects for seven years. Hessong earned a Bachelor's in Arts in history from the University of Houston and is a current member of the Society of Professional Journalists.