ENGLISH HOLLY (Ilex aquifolium) is easily spread by it’s red berries ingested and deposited by birds. To tell it apart from our lovely Oregon grape native, know that Oregon grapes leaves are opposite from each other on the branch. Holly has alternating leaves. Pagan tribes in northern Europe probably started the tradition of bringing greens in to decorate in mid-winter. Forget about noxious holly and use native plants to celebrate the season.
Tackling a tough holly problem takes persistence!
Small sprouts can be repeatedly pulled, getting as much of the root as possible. Larger plants can be cut as low as possible, or a weed wrench can be used. Holly has an incredibly dense and persistent root system, so the more of the root system you can remove the better. However, root removal should be balanced with the fact that this removal can do a lot of disturbance and damage to the soil. Re-sprouting from root storage is likely persist for years and will require vigilance and repeated removal.
For more information about the ecology, impacts, and control of holly, check out the King County Page for English Holly