Our photinia seems to have a fungus and looks dead. Will heavy pruning and/or spraying help?
Photinia is very susceptible to the fungus leaf spot, called Entomosporium, that can defoliate photinia plants. Plant photinia in full sun and provide good air circulation. Remove and destroy fallen leaves, prune off diseased twigs. Avoid overhead irrigation. Fungicide sprays (copper-based products) are also generally necessary for this disease, beginning from bud break and applied every ten to fourteen days until all foliage has matured. Mature foliage is no longer susceptible to infection.
This article mat also help: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/shrubs/photinia/growing-red-tip-photinia.htm
Nikki-thank you for your answer to my question about fungus on photinia. Is there anything I can do to save my plant after it has been affected? Should I prune it severely? It seems to be still alive, but the foliage is all dead.
Treat the plant with neem oil. It is an effective fungicide and safe to use. Here is more information: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/pesticides/neem-oil-uses.htm
I would definitely prune and remove the dead growth and any foliage, especially that which may be on the ground. The diseased debris will need to be destroyed in order that the fungus does not reinfect the plant or infect any others nearby.
Should we use an electric trimmer and cut the leaves back, or should we trim using hedge clippers?
Either way is fine; however, you should be more cautious when using electric trimmers to prevent any 'chewing up' of plant foliage. Generally, hedge clippers provide a cleaner cut.
Is there a commercial spray I can use on photinia for a fungus that is on my bushes? The leaves seem to have a mold and sort of wither and are dying off.
Neem oil may also be effective, both as an organic fungicide and pesticide. These articles should help: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/shrubs/photinia/growing-red-tip-photinia.htm
There are a couple sprays that should help with this problem. One is called Banner Maxx, its cheaper generic is called Honor Guard. An earth friendly more organic fungicide would be one called Green Cure.
I have about 80 photinia trees in my backyard. They have the fungus you talked about. I've always sprayed the trees with Bayer disease control for trees and shrubs at least 3 times a year. But this year there has been more rain than usual. I live in the piedmont area of North Carolina. Some of the trees' leaves are almost gone. I was wondering if it's too late to save them. I raked all the dead leaves up and have just the bare soil under them. Can I maybe try to prune them and spray them to get new growth?
You can trim the dead/diseased growth off and treat the shrub with neem oil, which is both an effective pesticide as well as fungicide. Here is more info: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/pesticides/neem-oil-uses.htm
When is good time to trim photinia bushes, and how much can I trim at one time?
Prune photinia sometime during early spring through early fall--late spring, early summer being the best time. Unruly plants can be cut back 6 inches to the ground and will come back--annual pruning will help keep them maintained and manageable. They can take a pretty severe pruning, so you can cut them back to a manageable size without harming them.
What is wrong and how do I fix it?
There are many reasons that this could be happening. My gut reaction is that it is a fungus. I would treat the plant with a fungicide.
Also, check to make sure it is getting enough water. This is another common reason for the leaves to curl.