Photinia Removal – How To Get Rid Of Photinia Shrubs

By: , Credentialed Garden Writer
Photinia Shrubs
Image by saraTM

Photinia is a popular, attractive, and fast-growing shrub, often used as a hedge or privacy screen. Unfortunately, an overgrown photinia can create all sorts of problems when it takes over, robbing moisture from other plants, and sometimes growing under building foundations.

If you have an unwanted photinia shrub, the best way to get rid of the wayward plant is by using patience and good old-fashioned elbow grease. Read on for tips on removing photinia.

How to Get Rid of Photinia Shrubs

Use these tips on photinia removal for the best results:

  • Soften the soil by watering well the day before photinia removal. 
  • Use a pruning saw, sharp pruning shears, or another tool to cut the shrub down nearly to the ground. If the plant is large, you may need to use a chainsaw. Never use a chainsaw too close to the ground, as it may kick back.
  • Use a shovel with a pointed tip to dig deeply around the circumference of the plant, at least 18-20 inches (45.5-61 cm.) from the main trunk. Rock the shovel back and forth as you go to loosen the roots.
  • Pull up the stem, rocking the plant from side to side as you pull. Use the shovel as needed to loosen and sever the roots. If the unwanted photinia doesn’t come loose, try using a lever bar to pry the shrub from the soil. Ask a friend to help. One person can leverage the stump while the second person pulls.
  • Removing a very large, overgrown photinia is backbreaking work. If this is the case, you may need to pull the shrub from the ground mechanically. Many homeowners use a pickup truck and tow chain or cable to pull unwanted shrubs, but you may want to call a professional to help with this task.
  • Discard the overgrown photinia, then fill the hole and level the ground.
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