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Too many photinia blossoms.

Posted by jstover z9b CA (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 20, 10 at 14:26

We planted a privacy screen of photinia fraseri a couple of years ago, to shield our backyard from the aquatic complex our next-door neighbor installed next to our common fence. For about 3 years, this neighbor has refused to respond to me on any "good neighbor" issues about which I have attempted to contact him. However, when I approached him politely across our driveway fence last summer, about his children spraying water over the fence (onto our electrical fixtures), he became enraged, and one of the things he ranted about was that a large portion of the profuse blossom drop from the photinia fraseri was landing in his swimming pool. Since he has refused to communicate with me, this was the first I had heard of the issue. While I am tempted to consider this poetic justice, because we tried to dissuade him from installing the pool, slide and elevated bathing area next to our shared fence, our intent in putting up the privacy screen was really not to irritate him further.

Of course, we are now entering the full bloom and drop season (known to the rest of us as Spring), and it occurred to me that there may be some way to minimize the quantity of photinia blossoms that land in our irascible neighbor's pool. Does anyone know what effect cutting off the bud sprays would have on the photinia's growth characteristics (they are about 10 ft. tall)? Is there a horticultural spray that reduces bloom quantity on these shrubs (as there is for olive tree fruiting), and if so, how else does it affect the plant?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Too many photinia blossoms.

Routine pruning of the shrub into a more or less formalized hedge typically minimalizes flowering.

RE: Too many photinia blossoms.

  • Posted by hortster 6A, southcentral KS (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 20, 10 at 21:38

Hey, gardengal is right on. Pruning can lessen bloom, especially if done in late fall and done heavily thereby removing bloom buds for the next season. There is also a product named Florel, containing ethephon, that prevents fruit and seed on certain plants. Not sure if it works on photinia. Google the label.

RE: Too many photinia blossoms.

at the fence .. presuming it is directly on the property line.. he owns all branches from the fence to the sky ...

he is within his rights to simply cut them off ...

a good neighbor like yourself.. should do it for him.. because most likely .. you would do a better job ... with some suggestions from us ....

and if it were me.. i would prune them back at least a foot or two from the fence ... on his side

i surely know nothing about plants in your area... but if it were me.. i would do this right after bloom is completed ... on the side that faces me, if you need to prune that side .. may as well enjoy the show ...

but on his side.. i would do it before the flowers.. reducing the mess is not enough.. on his side of the fence ...

this way you stay on your side of the fence also ... while working

you have no right to plant things that grow onto someone else's property .. even in the air ...

the job will be a lot easier if you invest in a quality pair of pruning shears.. i favor felco pruning shears [google it] ... they are worth the money.. since you will most likely be doing this on a yearly bases.. if not more often ..

IF the method is different for this specific plant .. of which, as noted, i dont personally know ... i will gladly defer ...

but the issue is not the plant.. the issue is the problem created when it is growing over the fence ....

in summation .. IMHO .... he has every right to be upset about the mess you have created in his backyard ... so suck it up.. and be proactive .... and take care of it ... it is the neighborly thing to do ... i am sorry in advance, if you dont appreciate said opinion.. but you did ask ...

take care, and good luck


RE: Too many photinia blossoms.

I would pull up and destroy the weedy, annoying, disease-prone redtips and replace them with oleanders and palms.

RE: Too many photinia blossoms.

"...replace them with oleanders and palms."....
and your lovely neighbor will end up suing you for poisoning his pets or kids :>/ I sympathize that you have an unfriendly neighbor...really no fun. Though he is undeserving, you probably should have done a bit more research to ensure you were not being unfriendly in kind by planting a shrub that would be a big nuisance to them (and now you by having to maintain them). Hindsight is great, huh:>/ I really do commend you for over-looking his attitude and being a good neighbor yourself.
That said, I'd go for moderate pruning each year...that is, leave some blossoms to enjoy, but clip most off. Not sure the best pruning time, but expect it's right after blooming, though doubt any harm would be done by clipping flowers off now.

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