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Chinese Photina

July 2006

QuestionI have heavy infestation of my Fraser's Photinia hedge with black spot on the leaves. Not all bushes are infected but those that are, seem to be very heavily spotted. Any quick cure? Can they be saved? Any help would be appreciated.


AnswerUnfortunately, there is no such thing as a quick cure for entomosporium leaf spot of red top photenias. This leaf spotting disease is quite similar to black spot on roses and would need weekly preventative spray programs for total control--not worth the effort in my opinion. You can spray two to three times in early spring before the disease kicks in for the season with a fungicide such as Immunox or Daconil, but if they were my bushes, I would start planting a more disease free hedge nearby and gradually replace them. WE have been losing red tops across the south for twenty years now and they are not worth the effort.

July 2010

QuestionOur beautiful Chinese Photinia (30 ft. tall, crown 25 ft. in diam.) has died in spite of our efforts to save it with fungicide. It was not only a focal point, but the screen between our windows and our neighbors. We need to replace it with an evergreen shrub or tree that will eventually fill that space as gracefully. Any suggestions?


AnswerThere are several possibilities. Cryptomeria plants grow quite large at maturity but can be slow to get started. A common name is Japanese cedar. There are numerous cultivars and size varies based on which you choose. Another possibility is one of the hollies--lusterleaf holly (Ilex latifolia) is fast growing and I think fairly graceful in central and south Arkansas. Nellie R. Stevens holly is fairly fast growing but will not get near as tall as your photenia. As far as graceful, I would look at a deodara cedar. Some cultivars will grow way taller, but others can fit your size.      


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