When it comes to choosing an evergreen tree that is very versatile then one to be considered is the Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’. Also known as the Christmas berry tree.
Why choose a Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’?
This variety is a highly ornamental evergreen tree that can be planted as a specimen or fast growing evergreen hedge. Its dark green leaves are a vibrant red when they first emerge in spring. Clusters of tiny white flowers emerge from pink buds in April\May. These are sometimes followed by bright red fruits later in the summer.
Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’ is easy to grow and will be happy in most soil types except heavy clay. It can be grown in full sun and partial shade, in an exposed or sheltered position. It is best to avoid full shade positions.
Bush, half-standard or standard?
This plant comes in many forms – bush, half-standard and standard. A standard evergreen tree is an ideal choice for screenage and you have the added benefit of being able to plant underneath them too.
Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’ is also an ideal choice for hedging. Kept regularly trimmed, it will enhance the colour and encourage dense foliage. Trimming encourages the plant to put strength into the foliage rather than producing flowers.
Our planting guide will give you lots of information on how to plant your new purchase. If you have purchased a standard tree then follow this link. Dig the hole just slightly bigger than the pot is it coming out of. Remember to water it well once planted and continue to water – keeping the soil on the dry side of moist. Also, fertilise for the first season to help get it fully established.
As a small evergreen shrub, it may not need to be pruned and can be left to its own devices and will eventually be a bushy shrub spreading to about 4m in all directions. If you have space and have grown it as a hedge this creates an impressive, informal specimen.
However, if you do not have space or would like a more formal hedge or evergreen tree then they can be pruned once or twice a year to maintain its shape, size and tidiness. If you want to encourage new red growth for the following spring, you can prune more regularly.
When to prune
If you have established plants, it should not be pruned when it is dormant. At the beginning of the growing season (late March – April depending upon the weather conditions at the time) is the time to consider pruning when you can see the first lot of foliage has turned from red to green.
Young plants should not be heavily pruned until they are well established, but you can trim untidy branches to keep your plants in shape.
The last prune of the season should be by the end of August just in case of early frosts. Pruning much later could result in a semi bare hedge until the following spring.
The beauty of Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’ is that they are very easy to keep and need little maintenance apart from pruning. An evergreen will naturally shed foliage, which you will need to clear to keep the ground tidy.
This is an excellent all year-round plant. We have a good range of bush, half-standard and standard plants in stock. Our staff is always available to answer any questions you may have and will be delighted to assist you.