I seem to be killing these shrubs. Can anyone tell from the picture what they are and if it appears to be insects or disease affecting them? Any additional advice? Thanks, Dana
Fraser photinia with one of the destructive leaf diseases that is now spoiling this shrub in this region (one or more of these conditions already having swept through the se US some years ago). In short, your plants are of a kind that has been "obsoleted" and needs to be replaced with something else, if you wish to continue having shrubs in that location.
Don't quote me as authoritative but it looks like a variation on black spot or some kind of rust. May have to do with all the recent rain after the super warm week.
I wouldn't worry about it unless you want your shrubbery to look perfect. I doubt it is actually dying.
Thanks for the direction. Much easier to research when you know what to look for...
looks like a variation on black spot or some kind of rust
It is neither. As bboy indicated, Photinia x fraserii, aka redtip photinia, is extremely prone to Entomosporium leaf spot, to the point that the shrub becomes defoliated and eventually weakens and dies. The photo above is a perfect example of this problem but you can see it in gardens all over the area as well. Often just scraggly, mostly woody bare stems with a few spotted leaves on top.
It is a progressive pathogen, appearing every year and typically worse each season. You can spray for the problem but it will be an ongoing issue and with only moderately successful results. Many better retail nurseries in the area no longer carry this shrub for this exact reason. I like that term "obsoleted"......that's a perfect description of a plant that puts itself out of market because of ongoing problems.!
...yes, scraggly is the word for this hedge. Have the plants/hedge matured and filled the spot, been pruned, and now have only a thin veneer of leaves hiding a bird's nest of branches? Time for new plantings. Consider yourself lucky.
They were established and full when we bought the house two years ago. I think I pruned them at the wrong time and weakened them enough to catch Entomosporium- perfect example of do your homework first:( Any suggestions on a fast growing, tall replacement?
depends on your location, soil type & lighting...moist or dry...clay or sand...sun or shade...
sun - lilac if you want scented flowers, but many others grow well in sun
shade - any of the azalea family that fits your height & width space at maturity
My favorite for low maintenance is an unpruned natural shape mixed hedge because if one plant gets damaged you can replace with whatever you want since it isn't a uniform hedge. Keeping up pruning is a lot of work and when your taste changes over time it's nice to put something different in there without digging them all out. Width is important, too as many shrubs want more room than we give them when planting out young. Fill in with perennials that can be moved away as the shrub matures.
There are a lot of choices, so it really depends on your site & what you want.
If privacy is an issue go with an evergreen or a mix of plants to effective screen. If for birds get a shrub with berries. If a walkway nearby skip the ones that drop berries or leaves leaving a slippery mess to pick up. If kids play nearby you want something without brittle stems or thorns. Our landscape is a lot different now that the little kids, swingset, flying whiffle balls and more are long gone. It will probably change again when we have grandchildren visiting, but not too much.
Here is a link that might be useful: a sampling of shrubs & vines for PNW
Thanks! I Iike your reasoning for a mixed border- everything will be hardier, and not so overwhelming if something does happen. Plus, I like the way they look, if put together nicely, which may require a trip to Portland nursery, shucks;)
That spot is along the sunny south side of our house and the neighbors have an 8' fence so probably not very important to have large shrubs there. The spot is wet in the winter, dry in the summer with pretty compacted soil. I like the idea of lilacs, and pn showed them as evergreens here. Also blueberries might be nice. Seems like there are a lot of choices...
Portland Nursery has Evergreen Lilacs? Must be Ceanothus, the California Mountain Lilac and not a true Lilac called Syringa. Two totally different shrubs. This shows the perils of common names.
Must be a mistake on their website. I'm sure they know Lilacs are not evergreen....
This is what i saw on the portland nursery website, as a novice I read Lilac and thought lilac... But sounds nice, although I haven't seen them.
Wild Lilac (Ceanothus)
Blue flowers and evergreen leaves, drought tolerant and fast growing. Grows wider than tall, but prunes well. Flowers attract bees.
Ceanothus is not going to like anywhere that is wet in winter - that is, a wet soil in winter. Won't mind hot and dry and even compacted summer soil but will not be happy with wet feet at any time of year.
There are quite a few of those "lilacs" in the SE Portland area--perhaps one every 10 blocks or so. In full bloom now. They are not known to be long-lived plants. They are very handsome and one in a mixed hedge would look nice. They can get quite large--eight feet in all directions.
I have been quite taken this year with the Korean dwarf lilacs. Owners of these just love them and the rounded smaller shape is very attractive. Funny, one just showed up at my house yesterday.