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By Jan9965

United Kingdom Gb

Please advise!! I have 2 large photinias which I got this time last year to provide screening. Large and green a year nothing left except tips. Should I prune them right back to encourage bushy growth, thus removing only leaves they have left, or leave them alone? Not working as screening now!! Would freezing Edinburgh winds have caused this, and therefore is it likely to keep happening?

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It does look sad does'nt it?

Freezing winds will not have helped.

As an ex-Fifer I know about those cold North easterly Siberian winds. Brrrrrrrrrrr!!

Oddly enough that fence may have played its part in the plants growth.

What's in my mind is; you may have inadvertantly put it in a frost pocket ;

The top pictures shows your plants in pots and the second in the ground when did you transplant them?

I am no expert with Photinia having only purchased a small plant last year so hopefully I don't face a similar problem.

This article from the RHS might help to answer your question;

Sorry I couldn't be of more help...Tg

18 Apr, 2012


I know Edinburgh had a wet summer last year but did you water them well after removing from the pots and planting in the ground? They are also planted very close to the fence and so will tend to look leggy as they grow up to the light.

18 Apr, 2012


It looks as if you bought mature specimens (for which you probably paid a fair bit of money). The problem with mature plants is they don't get away as well as young ones do - they take longer to settle in, the growth rate is slower, and they may deteriorate. They do better if planted with Rootgrow (in contact with the roots) at the time of planting.
Looks to me as if you're going to have to cut them back and hope that is sufficient to kickstart the plants into responding by growing. I'd say you need to cut them back by half... and give them a good feed - something like Growmore or Vitax, turned into the soil at the base.

18 Apr, 2012


Agree with Bamboo

18 Apr, 2012


Thanks everyone for your replies...very useful.
I think I'm going to bite the bullet and cut them right back, but hate doing it as (you're right) we did pay a fair amount for them....feel somewhat cheated!!
I'm not an experienced gardener and will know in future to wait 5 years for baby plants to grow, for screening to block out our nutty neighbours!

Never even heard of frost pockets!!!! Will take note.

19 Apr, 2012

How do I say thanks?

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