Red tip photinia – dreaded entomosporium leaf spot
This shrub is on my black list that is for certain! Every year we lose one or two – and it is not pretty. The shrubs do provide a fantastic living fence for us, however with multiple kicking the bucket every year we are left with holes and views of our neighbours. After much research I am now replacing the ones that die with Xylosma Congestum. Shiny leaf xylosma is apparently resistant to entomosporium leaf spot as well as many other garden pests. Xylosma congestum tolerates poor soil, and it can grow in full sun or part shade. This is key for me as I have a HUGE living fence of red tip photinia and tearing them all out at once would not be a solution for us as we would have no privacy for many months/years until the new shrubs grew in. The shiny leaf xylosma and the photinia look similar enough that I think this will work for us. The shiny leaf xylosma’s new growth is also reddish orange!
In the pictures you will see up close what the leaf spot looks like (note the spots that look like burned ash!), as well, you will see how I have inter-planted the two varieties. I have tried everything on the red-tips over the past 3 years to save them – neem, compost, sick tree treatment, other fungicides, etc, etc… I eventually made the decision they were too high maintenance for my xericstyle garden.