Our house is on a street corner. A sidewalk follows a 6 foot block wall that runs along our back yard. The sidewalk grade is higher than our back yard so people walking along the sidewalk can look into our yard. We asked a landscaper to plant some photinias along the wall for privacy and instead of the full bushes we expected he gave us treed plants. He argued that the bushy top would provide privacy that we didn't need below where there are no branches. We expected the tops of the plants would continue to grow up and out but instead the only growth has been along the trunk where branches are starting to form. My wife says that to promote growth on top I should cut off these new branches but I am skeptical. I think that the only way the plants will grow up and out on top is to let the plant become the bush it clearly wants to become and that eventually, once it fills in below, it will grow up and out on top. What do you think?
Photinia Growing Patterns
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
In this case, if you want them to grow out on top, you will want to cut off all of the growth near the bottom. Take care when doing this though, as you only want to cut off about ten percent at one time... then wait a day or two and do it again.
This article will guide you on the general care of these: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/shrubs/photinia/growing-red-tip-photinia.htm