Diseases of Burford Holly Bushes


Ilex cornuta, or Burford holly (sometimes misspelled Buford), is a perennial evergreen shrub. It is also called Chinese holly and originally was native to northern Asia. This glossy-leaved plant is a common landscaping choice but may suffer from a number of diseases.

Cylindrocladium Leaf Spot

  • Cylindrocladium leaf spot is a fungal disease common on Burford, American, Japanese and yaupon holly, according to the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service. It appears as small yellow spots on the leaves and may cause significant leaf drop. Treat this disease with fungicide in nursery conditions, but use chemical treatments sparingly in landscaping plants.


  • Anthracnose is a fungal disease that can inflict brownish leaf blotches and pinkish orange spore masses on hollies. According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, it is most common on hollies in the southeast United States. Anthracnose may cause shoot die-off on Burford hollies and should be managed with late spring applications of fungicide.

Botryosphaeria Canker

  • Botryosphaeria canker disease appears on nearly all hollies, including Burford. It often develops shortly after very high or low temperature exposure, or during a serious drought. Hollies with this canker show yellow and prematurely falling leaves, twig die-back and shrunken or cracked bark. Control this disease by watering the holly well and pruning damaged branches back to green wood.

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