Pick up know-how for tackling diseases, pests and weeds.
Farm bill, farm marketing, agribusiness webinars, & farm policy.
Find tactics for healthy livestock and sound forages.
Scheduling and methods of irrigation.
Explore our Extension locations around the state.
Commercial row crop production in Arkansas.
Agriculture weed management resources.
Use virtual and real tools to improve critical calculations for farms and ranches.
Learn to ID forages and more.
Explore our research locations around the state.
Get the latest research results from our county agents.
Our programs include aquaculture, diagnostics, and energy conservation.
Keep our food, fiber and fuel supplies safe from disaster.
Private, Commercial & Non-commercial training and education.
Specialty crops including turfgrass, vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals.
Find educational resources and get youth engaged in agriculture.
Gaining garden smarts and sharing skills.
Timely tips for the Arkansas home gardener.
Creating beauty in and around the home.
Maintenance calendar, and best practices.
Coaxing the best produce from asparagus to zucchini.
What’s wrong with my plants? The clinic can help.
Featured trees, vines, shrubs and flowers.
Ask our experts plant, animal, or insect questions.
Enjoying the sweet fruits of your labor.
Herbs, native plants, & reference desk QA.
Growing together from youth to maturity.
Crapemyrtles, hydrangeas, hort glossary, and weed ID databases.
Get beekeeping, honey production, and class information.
Grow a pollinator-friendly garden.
Schedule these timely events on your gardening calendar.
Equipping individuals to lead organizations, communities, and regions.
Guiding communities and regions toward vibrant and sustainable futures.
Guiding entrepreneurs from concept to profit.
Position your business to compete for government contracts.
Find trends, opportunities and impacts.
Providing unbiased information to enable educated votes on critical issues.
Increase your knowledge of public issues & get involved.
Research-based connection to government and policy issues.
Support Arkansas local food initiatives.
Read about our efforts.
Preparing for and recovering from disasters.
Licensing for forestry and wildlife professionals.
Preserving water quality and quantity.
Cleaner air for healthier living.
Firewood & bioenergy resources.
Managing a complex forest ecosystem.
Read about nature across Arkansas and the U.S.
Learn to manage wildlife on your land.
Soil quality and its use here in Arkansas.
Learn to ID unwanted plant and animal visitors.
Timely updates from our specialists.
Eating right and staying healthy.
Ensuring safe meals.
Take charge of your well-being.
Cooking with Arkansas foods.
Making the most of your money.
Making sound choices for families and ourselves.
Nurturing our future.
Get tips for food, fitness, finance, and more!
Understanding aging and its effects.
Giving back to the community.
Managing safely when disaster strikes.
Listen to our latest episode!
December 1, 2018
My red tip photinias are dying from leaf spot disease so I am removing them. Can
you suggest another bush that would provide a screen from the street?
You have several options. There are numerous species of hollies that grow large and
can provide screening, including standard yaupon holly, Foster holly, lusterleaf holly
or Nelly R. Stevens holly. You can also try cleyera, one of the little leaf magnolias,
or one of the standard arborvitae.
September 15, 2018
We have 6 tall red leaf bushes with the large leaves. This summer they have lost
almost all of their leaves. The leaves have dark brown spots and holes on them. They
stand 12 feet tall. What can we do to return them to a healthy hedge? Should we
cut them back, and by how much?
Your plants have a very common problem with red tip photenias called entomosporium
leaf spot. It has been wiping out photenia plants across the south for years now.
You have several choices. One is remove the plant and replace with something more
carefree. You can also cut them back by half and then spray with a fungicide in early
spring to start the season out healthy and see what happens. If they have totally
defoliated from the disease, my guess is they will succumb to the disease again next
season unless you are prepared to spray weekly during the growing season, which I
do not recommend. I would replant with something new.
December 23, 2017
I have a short row of old red-tips. They are at least nine feet tall. I want to cut
them back to about four feet tall so I can trim every year without using a ladder.
Is December too early? Should I wait until later?
Red tips or red top photinias are a common landscape plant that have been used as
a hedge plant for many years. In the past 20 years they have been gradually disappearing
from our gardens due to a leaf spot disease. I am glad yours are doing so well.
I would recommend waiting until the end of February or early March before severely
pruning them back. Heavy pruning now is going to expose the plants to potential winter
injury. By waiting until the bulk of the winter has passed gives you a buffer of
the top growth should we get any damage. Then prune away. They should rebound fairly
quickly with the burst of new growth in the spring. Do be aware that rapid new growth
can be more susceptible to the disease.
September 30, 2017
Is it too late for me to trim crape myrtles and red top photinias? I also have some
large woody plants that are growing around my back yard that I have cut back but they
just seem to be doing better than ever. I have heard that you put salt on them to
kill them. Is it rock salt, how do you do it without killing everything around it?
The time to prune crape myrtles is in February, before new growth begins. Pruning
them in the fall can expose them to winter damage if we have a cold winter. The key
is to get them through the bulk of the winter before pruning. If your red top photinia
just needs a light trim, that is fine to do now, but severe pruning--removing more
than 1/3 of the plant should be done in the spring; you don’t want to encourage too
much new growth this late in the season. I do not like to use salt to kill plants,
as salt will stay in the soil for a long time and can leach out and damage nearby
root systems. Once you cut the trees down, you can paint the stumps with an herbicide
such as Brush-B-Gon, Brush Killer or Roundup Super Concentrate. Monitor these trees
next spring as new growth begins, and if you see new growth repeat the above process.
July 1, 2017
Are there still disease problems with Red Tip Photenia? If so, any other suggestions
for a fast growing and tall hedge row?
The leaf spot disease is a problem that is not going to go away on photenias and for
that reason, I don’t recommend planting them. Some other options include holly –
Nellie R. Stevens, foster or luster leaf, cleyera, eleagnus, Chindo viburnum, or Little
April 30, 2016
I have a row of red tipped photinia that are a living fence in my back yard. They
were an excellent screen for years, but I have had some problem with a leaf spot disease
and those plants are thin. Others have all their foliage at the top with just twiggy
growth at the base. I would like to cut them back so they'll bush out nearer to the
ground and function once again as a screening hedge and get rid of the disease. How
severely can I cut them back without harming them and will this control the disease?
How long will it take for them to fill back in? Should I spray with something for
the disease, and should I fertilize to help them grow back? If so, with what?
Red top photinia were the most popular hedge plant in the south for years, but entomosporium
leaf spot has been thinning out the population for over twenty years. The disease
has a purple to red spot filled with a gray center. Some existing plants do not
have the disease, but that can change. If you are planning on removing more than a
third of the growth, which it sounds like you are, you need to do so quickly. I would
have preferred to do so in late February through early April to allow more recovery
time. Severe pruning can encourage rapid, tender new growth which can be more sensitive
to the leaf spot disease. Sterilize your pruning shear between pruning cuts because
you can spread the disease mechanically with your pruning shears. As new growth begins,
make sure that the top of the hedges always stays a bit narrower than the base to
allow sunlight to get to all parts of the plant ensuring foliage from the top of the
plants to the bottom. If disease is not a factor, they should fill back in quickly.
Broadcast a light application of fertilizer around the plants and water it in when
done pruning. I really don’t recommend regular spray schedules, but you can apply
a general fungicide such as Daconil after you prune to help prevent diseases, and
then see what happens. If they don’t respond the way you want, or the disease gets
worse, consider replacing them with something else.
I 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.
Unfortunately, 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.
I have a question about red tip photinias. I planted them hoping that they would be
ten to 15 feet tall. I think they are probably a little taller than fifteen feet now.
I'm concerned that they will get taller. They are down the hill from a septic tank.
I'm sure that has played a part in their rapid growth. The ones on the other side
of the yard are about half as tall. Do you think I'm about to end up with freakishly
The common red top photinia doesn't usually grow much taller than twenty feet, and
that's provided it doesn't get the dreaded leaf spot disease. It shouldn't get much
larger than it is now.
I need your help. We have cut down most of our red-tips because of the fungus. I have
fought it for so long and now it has spread to all of them and we had so many. Now
we want to replace them and we don't know what to put there. We would like something
that grows well with no disease problems. I thought you might have some suggestions.
Redtop photenias have really been hit hard by the leaf spot fungus and are dying across
the south. You are wise to stop fighting it, and replace. There are numerous options.
You can use Nelly R. Stephens holly, Foster Holly, Elaeagnus, Green Giant Arborvitae,
winter honeysuckle, and cherry laurel, just to name a few. Visit with your local nursery
and look at the plants, and see which ones you like best.
I have several red tops along with some holly bushes against the front of my home.
I lost one red top this summer and I dug it up completely and made a circular flower
bed where I planted summer annuals. It was pretty this summer but now with winter
coming on I need to put something more permanent in to balance things out. I would
like some evergreen, holly or something that stands about five feet high. Is it too
late to plant hollies now? I saw one that started with an F, but I can’t remember
what it was.
It is not too late to plant. Fall is an ideal time to plant hardy trees and shrubs.
Red top photenias have been dying across the south for years now with the leaf spot
disease, or the weakening of the plant. Replacing them with tougher plants is often
a good idea. By all means, you can still plant now. Keep in mind that many of our
plants are container grown these days. Container grown plants can actually be planted
twelve months out of the year, as long as you water. Fall is much better than summer
in my opinion, so plant away. You probably saw a Foster Holly.
All links to external sites open in a new window. You may return to the University
of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture web site by closing this window when you
are finished. We do not guarantee the accuracy of the information, or the accessibility
for people with disabilities listed at any external site.
Links to commercial sites are provided for information and convenience only. Inclusion
of sites does not imply University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture's approval
of their product or service to the exclusion of others that may be similar, nor does
it guarantee or warrant the standard of the products or service offered.
The mention of any commercial product in this web site does not imply its endorsement
by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture over other products not
named, nor does the omission imply that they are not satisfactory.