Red tip bushes, as Fraser’s photinias (Photinia x fraseri) are occasionally called, provide a handsome solution for regions of the landscape in which a bit of pizzazz is necessary. Beloved for the stunning red color new-growth leaves game in the spring and its year-round evergreen foliage, red tip bushes thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 and 9. Since they grow at a speed of 2-3 feet each year and can be pruned and shaped to stylish standards, it is possible to integrate red tip bushes in several regions of your landscape layout.
Block the view of your gardens from neighboring properties or the street with a hedgerow of red tip bushes. Prune the hedge early in the spring to control its height and width, and to foster the appearance of glowing red leaves as the new growth emerges. Leave the hedge unshorn for a rambling, rustic look that is suitable as country streets and in the far end of a huge backyard.
Cut lower branches from a red tip shrub routinely to create the appearance of a normal tree with a spreading canopy of dense, evergreen foliage. Listed as a utility-friendly tree from the Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute in California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Fraser’s photinia is typically appropriate for planting near overhead wires but might need to be top-trimmed occasionally to keep its top limbs in check.
Anchor a island bed with a single red tip bush, and trim it early each spring to maintain a tight, compact form. Plant sun-loving perennials in the bed, like tall, purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) and lacy, threadleaf “Moonbeam” coreopsis (Coreopsis verticullata “Moonbeam”), that both grow in USDA zones 4 through 9 and are elegantly complemented from the tree’s leathery green leaves.
Train select limbs of red tip bushes laterally and wires to create an espalier facing an unattractive retaining wall, the side of a backyard shed or along the edge of a little garden area. Install the hold wires once the bush is planted, remove the unwanted branches prior to the red hints show up in the spring, and loosely tie the remaining branches to the wires to guide their growth.
Flank each side of the front-door entry or the entry point of a garden path with red tip bushes to create symmetry in the landscape design. Trim the trees into circular, pyramidal or boxy shapes for a formal garden setting. Pinch off the division ends of the simple topiary or shear the whole shrub in late winter or very early spring to encourage the glowing reddish leaves that punctuate the garden’s springtime appeal.
Incorporate red tip trees right to your living fence of mixed evergreens and deciduous shrubs and smaller trees along a property line. Incorporate early bloomers, like forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia), that rises in USDA zones 4 through 8 and shines with golden yellow blooms in early spring, and plants that have rich autumn color, like red laceleaf Japanese maples (Acer palmatum “Ornatum”), that grow in zones 6 through 8, to provide the boundary hedge a complete selection of colorful, seasonal interest.