The yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria) is native to the southeastern United States and is used as a screen, hedge or specimen tree. The bright red berries borne by the female plant are an important source of food for migratory birds. The evergreen grows in full sun or shade and is hardy to zone 8.
Step back 50 feet to visualize how the plant should look. Yaupon hollies can be sheared to form a hedge, shaped into a treelike form, or espaliered.
Decide how many trunks you would like the yaupon to have if you are pruning it as a specimen tree. An odd number of trunks--one, three or five--looks best.
Prune off suckers, or branches growing out of the root zone, and work your way up the trunk, removing small branches along the way.
Prune minor branches away from main branches within the canopy, but don't cut branches that will leave a void in the canopy.
Trim low-hanging branches by cutting back to a point where the branch is growing in the desired direction.