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Archive for December, 2014

4 Top Types of Holly For Christmas

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

winter hollyHolly Shrubs and trees have, over the years, become one of the most iconic Christmas plants. Not to mention that, because they’re evergreens, they’re a boon to any winter landscape, providing some much needed color and life to otherwise dead yards. If you’re interested in improving your landscape this Christmas you can’t go wrong with a subspecies of Ilex (the botanical name for the holly species of plants). But there are actually quite a few kinds of holly out there, so how do you choose one? The Atlantic Maintenance Group is here with the top 4 kinds of holly that make for great winter landscapes.

1. Blue Princess Holly Shrubs

Despite the name Blue Princess holly shrubs are not actually blue. While it’s conceivable that the name was given in reference to it’s very deep, dark green leaves, there’s a solid chance that “blue” was dreamed up by the folks in marketing. Officially called Ilex x meserveae, Blue Princess boasts holly’s iconic red berries, which can add a great deal of color to your yard around Christmas, although it may require protection from winter-famished fowl in the area.

2. Hetz’s Japanese Holly

Officially called Ilex crenata Hetzii, Hetz’s Japanese Holly, with its small, rounded, bright green leaves, might easily pass as a boxwood to the untrained eye. This holly bush produces richly black berries and makes for a great hedge shrub, especially during Christmastime and the winter season. It’s worth noting that if you notice Ilex crenata is the botanical name of a plant that means it’s a Japanese holly.

3. Sky Pencil

Another Ilex crenata, the Sky Pencil, like Hetz’s sports tiny, round, green leaves and black berries. However, that’s where the similarities end. Sky Pencil Holly grows like a column, reaching somewhere between 4-10ft tall with a width about a third of the height. Vertical plants like this one are excellent for framing entryways, or can be planted at the corners of a foundation to “bookend” your entire house. Sky Pencil holly is a great accent plant for winter and can help keep things festive and lively come Christmas.

4. Winterberry

Ilex verticillata, also known as winterberry is an exception to the holly rule. While the majority of holly shrubs are praised for being evergreen, keeping their lush foliage year-round, Winterberry is deciduous, meaning that it loses its leaves in winter. It’s actually for this quality that it’s so desirable, because while Winterberry’s leaves are rather plain, once their gone it sports tremendously bright and vibrant berries that last year round. If you want to add some color to your yard, that isn’t green, Winterberry makes for a great Christmas shrub.

At The Atlantic Maintenance Group We Know Holly…

And a lot of other things too. Were you’re gardening and landscaping professionals during winter and all year round. We’re a full service landscaping company, providing maintenance, design and construction, as well as snow removal, asphalt and concrete services.

We are your source for complete landscape and facility maintenance for commercial and residential properties throughout Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Our highly trained team of professionals receives constant, ongoing education on the latest industry trends, updates and safety measures. This ensures we can deliver outstanding customer service and results to our clients, regardless of the size of your job.

To get your free quote today, give us a call at 410-768-4720 or contact us via our website today.

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Winter Landscaping Advice: Pruning Your Trees

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

PruningIt’s important to pay attention to your Maryland landscape’s trees and shrubbery, particularly during the winter. With the leaves long fallen, the vast majority of woody plants are dormant, making this time of year perfect for pruning back dying or intrusive branches. Pruning trees is important because correctly pruned plants grow more fruit and flowers. It also helps your plants defend against pesky insects and diseases. The Atlantic Maintenance Group is here helpful advice on why, where, and when you should start pruning your trees.

What to Prune

Pruning in winter is an important part of landscaping because it can help invigorate dormant trees and shrubs. Pruning leaves plants with extra energy and resource reserves that would have been used for the pruned branches, resources that the plant can turn towards strengthening remaining branches and its core root system. Here’s a quick list of plants you can prune during the winter.


  • Barberries
  • Glossy abelia
  • Beauty berries
  • Camellias (after they bloom)
  • European hornbeam
  • Euonymous
  • Mallow
  • Hydrangeas


  • Bradford and Callory pears
  • Crabapples
  • Poplar
  • Spruce
  • Junipers
  • Sumacs
  • Bald cypress
  • Cherries
  • Plums
  • Honey locust

What Not To Prune

Certain trees will ooze or “bleed” sticky sap if pruned during the Maryland winter or early spring. Although this poses no inherent danger to the tree, it can result in a sticky mess on your lawn or nearby cars. It’s generally better to avoid pruning these during the winter, and to do them earlier during the fall. This includes:

  • Maples
  • Birches
  • Dogwoods
  • Walnuts
  • Elms

Need Help Pruning?

Call The Atlantic Maintenance Group. The Atlantic Maintenance Group offers a wide variety of commercial tree services to help you keep your trees and shrubs beautiful and healthy. Our experienced arborists and Maryland certified tree experts can diagnose, remove and or treat the necessary problems to help protect your plants and help ensure safety on your property. If you’re unsure about what to prune, or would like a highly qualified professional to manage the task for you, put down those shears and call The Atlantic Maintenance Group at 410-768-4720 or contact us via our website today.

You can also follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Google+ to see how we’re growing!

Atlantic Maintenance Group
6710-F Ritchie Highway, Unit 470 Glen Burnie, Maryland 21060
Phone: (410) 768-4720 URL of Map