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Pruning Photinia for Maximum Height


 
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tomohawk
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:07 am    Post subject: Pruning Photinia for Maximum Height Reply with quote

I have Photinia at the end of my garden and I am trying to create a screen with them for privacy (see attachment). They are healthy and growing, but more outwards than upwards and I want to try and get more height from them.

Is there any pruning advice that would help? How and what time of year.

Also, is there any good website with videos that I could look at (specifically for this plant)?

I'm a novice gardener. The plants are about 18 months old.

The garden is south-facing, so the sun passes the other side of the fence (in the photo)

T



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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chop them at the width. They'll grow up anyway. (Of course, don't prune an upward growing shoot.)
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tomohawk
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="kindredspirit"]Chop them at the width. They'll grow up anyway. (Of course, don't prune an upward growing shoot.)[/quote]

Thanks kindredspirit
Can you be a bit specific. How far back should I cut the stems and where exactly should I make the cut e.g. inside a sub-stem or outside.

Thanks,
T
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tippben
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Photinia can be pruned fairly aggressively, and pruning is ideal, as you only get the red leaves at the tip of a shoot. Regarding width, you have to decide how far outwards you wish it to grow. Then prune at least 6" back from that: look at how much it has already grown this year! Prune to just above a pair of leaves. The plant will then grow two new shoots to replace the one you have cut.

With the top, you can do the same, but I personally would start cutting the top two pairs of leaves out now to thicken it out. Just start your regular cutting about a foot from the "ideal" height, to allow for growth. You could then prune using a hedgetrimmer, but selective pruning with secateurs will give a nicer effect (no cut leaves that could turn brown) though it will take longer. Luckily it's not a very long hedge.

It's a good idea to lightly mulch with compost after pruning, or to give a light feed. Also remember that Photinia produces large sprays of white flowers in the summer, so it is up to you whether to allow this, and then prune, or clip more regularly for a formal look.
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tomohawk
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you tippben.

Exactly the type of detailed instructions I needed.

I hope I have not led anybody astray.

This plant has NOT got any white flowers.

Have I got the wrong plant name?

T



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tippben
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have Photinia x fraseri "Red Robin". Here's the RHS link: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=145
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tomohawk
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your help Tippben

I have one last question. As you can see from the picture, I'm trying to get a minimum of 8 foot in height (or more, if possible), so that I will have a "screen"

When you say "With the top, you can do the same, but I personally would start cutting the top two pairs of leaves out now to thicken it out. Just start your regular cutting about a foot from the "ideal" height", I'm not sure I am following.

If I keep cutting the top, surely, I will never get height!

T
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The point is, to keep the plants growing thickly, you need to hold back the 'apical dominance'. The plants' natural inclination is to grow skywards as fast as possible, to grab the most light. By restricting its upward growth you force it to compensate by growing extra side shoots, making a denser hedge. The plants will still grow upwards quickly enough and you will get a much better hedge if you do as Tippben says.
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tomohawk
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks goodguy
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tomohawk
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can I take an entire stem off (or even a couple of stems), to stop it growing in a particular direction?
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tippben
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, definitely.
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tomohawk
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again for your continued support tippben
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