Red Tip Photinia Trees – Losing A Battle With Leaf Spot

Q: I have three huge red tip photinia trees. I have been dealing with leaf spot for two years. This year almost every photinia in our neighborhood has been affected. Am I fighting a losing battle? Or should I replace with ‘Little Gem’ magnolia and tea olive?

A: The battle against photinia leaf spot is not an easy fight to win. The disease loves damp weather, which we’ve had plenty of this spring. With so many other diseased shrubs in the neighborhood, there’s plenty of infectious material around. Do you enjoy fighting? Think about how you’ll feel 10 years down the road if the situation has not improved. Your choice of magnolia and tea olive is good; also consider other large hollies plus ‘Bigfoot’ cleyera.

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