Renovation of an old photinia hedge on the main road at work has been more work than it should have been. It was too overgrown for simple shearing. I pruned it up as a row of small trees, with the intention of eliminating their upper canopies as basal watersprouts grew upward from the newly exposed trunks below. Well, water sprouts did not grow as readily as I hoped for. The trees were cut down while the hedge below was still scrawny. As planned, I layered a tall water sprout as a replacement for one of two missing shrubs, but needed to replace the other with the naturally layered specimen from another hedge. (Layers develop roots where they touch soil, while attached to their original specimens.)

1. Rain! The first storm of the season came and went about two weeks ago. The drainage pond flooded about two feet over its spillway! This duckweed was left on a nearby fence.

2. Controlled burns resume now that the beginning of the rainy season is also the end of the fire season. There has been no more rain since the first storm, but forests are damp.

3. Damp ground and cooler weather facilitate planting within areas that lack automated irrigation. This layered photinia stem got relocated from one old hedge to patch another.

4. It was not enough though. To compensate for lack of another, I simply made a second layer by bending over and mostly burying a vigorous water sprout of an adjacent stump.

5. A new photinia can now grow where the tip of the mostly buried water sprout emerges from the soil. I am very pleased with the very uniform spacing of all specimens involved.

6. Meanwhile, I plugged a rooted sucker of an ungrafted historic flowering cherry within the decayed center of the stump of the now deceased original tree. It could replace itself!

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:


19 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: New Photinia

    1. It is not something that I would have selected, but I tend to what is here, and it actually works nicely for some applications. I did not plant it within stumps, but, as the watersprouts grew from the old bases, I cut the tree portions down. For some situations, I cut them down completely, and allow them to grow back from their stumps. For this particular situation, I tried to get it to replace itself prior to cutting it down. It ‘sort of’ cooperated, but slowly. It is doing well now. The layers were planted in blank spots.
      If you notice the picture of the flowering cherry water sprout that I planted within a rotting stump earlier, there is plenty of room for the water sprout to grow. What remains of the stump will be rotten and gone long before the new tree gets wide enough for it to be a problem. However, with this second stump, the new rooted water sprout has almost no space to expand. If it survives and grows faster than the stump decays, I must chisel a wider hole for it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, actually, the new shrubs on the stumps ‘are’ the old trees. Only the layer will eventually become a new shrub, like the one that was relocated. Because it does not need to be relocated, there will be no need to separate it from the parent as it grows. The stem will eventually rot away, or maybe not. Layering is an old technique of propagation that is rarely seen nowadays. The landscape industry profits from purchasing new plants. We are not in the landscape ‘industry’.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I tried to let an old silver maple regenerate itself from shoots around the old trunk. Didn’t work, probably because the old tree had a disease, the reason it needed to be removed.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Silver maple rots too readily anyway. Even a healthy new trunk would not have much to hold onto. I am doing this with another flowering cherry, but it does not grow so big that it exerts much leverage onto the roots, and new roots can grow almost as efficiently as a new trunk.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Silver maples are all around this area and get quite big and live a long time. But when they’re done, they’re done. A disease takes them out very quickly, from them having soft wood.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Silver maple was my first maple, even though it is rare here. Those who are familiar with it do not have much regard for it though. It seems to me that the only reason it is in California at all is that, with irrigation, it performs well in the Mojave Desert. Here, it lasts about as long as box elder. I do not mind. It is still one of my favorites.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. They are everywhere here, and mine spread thousands of seeds. I’m always pulling up seedlings when they pop up where I don’t want them. I have one huge one in the back yard that’s a transportation system for the squirrels.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Norway maple, which is invasive elsewhere, is one of my favorites as well, just because the ‘Schwedleri’ cultivar was a somewhat common street tree in the Western Santa Clara Valley. I got five common Norway maples here that I pulled from where they started to naturalize within one of our landscapes. I tried to graft ‘Schwedleri’, but the scions did not graft. ‘Schwedleri’ is not invasive, but the common Norway maple has potential to be. Therefore, I can not plant them anywhere.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hedges annoy me! I like them very much, particularly since I am so fond of old fashioned ‘formal’ features. However, I can not get any so-called ‘gardener’ to maintain them properly. ALL of them are too fat (the hedges, not the so-called ‘gardeners’). They are wider on top than down low. They get infested with other species that just get shorn into the sloppy mix. Seriously, hedges are disgraceful! It is actually odd to see how well they are maintained in other places, particularly Europe, as if gardeners still take horticulture seriously there.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s