This is a real problem. Moles and Voles eating the roots of Holly bushes, that is. It’s infuriatingly maddening. It’s time, labor and money down the drain.
I have read articles on the internet about people having big beautiful Holly bushes suddenly get brown and crispy. They wondered what in the heck was causing the problem, only to later discover mole tunnels all throughout the root systems. That’s the problem we are having here and if you are reading this post, that’s the problem you are having too.
So, how do you stop moles from eating the roots of your Holly bushes? Well, you are going to have to use a little muscle. Muscle and that rabbit fencing. There really is only one thing you can do and that’s to block them from getting to the heart of the root system.
I went outside this morning to water a few things and noticed some lifted soil under my feet. It was like walking on a mattress. I am used to this and have been wondering when the moles that were creating these tunnels would start working on my one year old Holly shrubs. Well, today is the day. How do I know? Well, that’s easy. I just grabbed the trunk of one of the Holly bushes and tried to lift. If the bush easily comes out of the ground, yup, we got problems. That’s what happened this morning.
Now, I want to stress to you that all is not lost if you have this happening to you. If your Hollys are still growing okay, then you can fix the situation. It’s just going to take some work. Without it, you will lose the bushes.
Here’s what I did:
First, I found some old rabbit fencing. You know, the stuff people make rabbit cages out of. Then, I cut some pieces…two one foot by one foot squares and one four foot by one foot strip. These pieces basically make a one by one by one foot cube. After that, I cut a hole out of the center of one of the squares.
Okay, after I had the small cage for the roots made, I went into the backyard and dug a hole where the Holly bush was. I dug deep enough to fit the cage into it. After that, I put the bottom of the cage in, then the sides. I filled the cage halfway up with dirt and then placed the Holly bush into the cage. Lastly, I coved the roots with soil and put the top piece of mesh on top and covered that with dirt too. I watered in and now have a mole proof Holly bush. If the deer don’t come by to eat it, I think I’m in business.
As you can see, the moles most likely aren’t getting through that, although I wouldn’t put anything past them. They are slippery creatures. At least this will let me sleep at night. I plan on finding an even better system than this, and when I do, I’ll be sure to write about it. At least with this system, there is a very tough barrier that moles can’t get past, while letting the Holly bush roots continue to grow outward through the screening.
If you have any mole stories or suggestions, please leave a comment.