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I planted a red robin against a shady fench a couple of years ago . It had been trained to fan out against a bamboo trellis .  Since then a number of the branches the leaves have gone brown and crispy . I pruned them back but I am still loosing leaves and branches .  I have a well established tree which must be at least 20 yearsold planted in a sunny spot and that survives anything . Should I move the sick  shrub  or maybe feed it ? 

Hiya janie

Just wait a while.  It might recover.  No dont feed it right now.

I would wait Until the spring and see if it shoots.  If it does remove dead stuff and feed it then.  if not then remove it.  I,would not replant with another photinia there.

Photinias do get diseases anything can.....and I lost one to a form of phytophthora.  Rather than plant another shrub there I have a dahlia (bishop of llandaff) growing instead.  

I have a big photonics that has grown into a 15 foot tree. Last Year I lopped the top off back to about 8 feet, but it's much too wide. It only has leaves on the last foot or so of each branch. How hard can I prune it? I assume I have to leave some leaves but I'd like to take off as much as possible.


...I think you can hard prune these...I used to cut mine back quite hard into old wood,  about June time.... top and sides... I don't have one currently so I'm going back a bit... but it recovered soon I recall....

Thanks Salino. In another thread someone has suggested cutting back to old wood on some of the branches and waiting for them to shoot before attacking the others. I assume it needs some leaves to survive!


I also need some help please - I have 3 fairly  large standard photinias. , 1 looks healthy and the other two very thin. there are lots of leaves dropping off and they are new leaves. I have googled it and am not sure whether I need to give it lots of water or not water it (as one piece I read said they don't like their roots water logged) I am at a loss what to do. I wanted them to be big and bushy to hide the neighbours view into my garden. Do I water and feed with growmore (I also read that somewhere) I am anxious to prune it ......I am at a loss and  new to gardening......although I have got the gardening bug....your help and advice would be much appreciated

Can anyone assist please. i am a novice at gardening. We have just moved back to our old house, the red robin (mother in law tells me thats what it is) is fully established and about 9 years old, it has not been maintained since we left and has grown to around 25 foot tall and 10 foot wide It looks beautiful but needs pruning and reshaping. 

Having looked at it, all the shoots and leaves are on the end of the branches, we are looking at taking it back to where it was previously (the old branches can be seen as dead where it was cut years ago), my question is if I cut it back this far it will be bare so will it regrow? I can post a picture if that helps.



Yes post a picture please Wilko

photinias are fickle plants...they can regenerate or die back.  In theory you can cut them back hard but in reality I find they usually don't 

Thanks for the reply. Despite repeated tries I cannot upload any photos. I keep receive ing the following error.

RadUpload Ajax callback error. Source url returned invalid content:

With lots of spiel underneath and forces me to close Safari. Any ideas? 

I have resized the images as well to 500mb

I thought I'd add my question to this thread rather than create a new one. I know there are loads on Red Robin without another!

Anyway, after reading some advice on here I pruned back some of this years new red growth and, as noted, it has done it the world of good and now I have another, more vibrant, flush of red growth. My question is, should I leave this now or prune / ('trim') back again? The size of the shrub is not a problem, just looking to keep it in the best nick.


Rightly or wrongly I trim a few inches off mine every few weeks during spring to autumn, mainly to keep its shape and size next to its neighbours.  It does well and has been going for at least 5 years.

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