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Photinia villosa

Biological Category 
Species Type 
Shrub or woody bush
NY Invasiveness Rank 
LHPrism Status 
Tier 2 - Emerging

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  • Oriental photinia is a member of the Rose family (Rosaceae).
  • An attractive member of the rose family, Oriental photinia is a deciduous shrub or small tree, growing up to 15 feet tall given the right conditions. Eye catching in all seasons, this species produces clusters of creamy white flowers in spring, bright orange-red foliage in fall, and red berries in mid-winter, hence the species’ common name, Christmas berry. (1)

Leaves are simple, alternately arranged, approximately 3 inches long with serrate, gland-tipped margins. Leaves are shiny, bright green above and hairy below. (1)

Creamy white to occasionally pinkish flowers approximately ⅓ inch across appear in May and June in the Hudson Valley, occurring in terminal clusters.  (1)

Flowers develop into clusters of round red, juicy pomes, ripening and appearing most conspicuous in mid-winter. (1)

Introduction History 
Introduced from its native Korea, Japan, and China in the 1860s Oriental photinia has been a popular ornamental shrub for over a century. It is now naturalized in four states, although its potential planting and expansion range covers many more. (7, 6)
Ecology and Habitat 
Oriental photinia prefers moist, well-drained acidic soils in full sun to part shade. It is often found at the edges of forest fragments and in forest clearings, where birds may deposit the seeds. In New Jersey it has been found in riparian corridors in moist, gravelly soils and in full shade. (4)
Reproduction and Phenology 
Mature plants of Oriental photinia produce ample fruit each season, with 3-4 seeds in each pome. Fruits persist on the plant well into winter and can be dispersed long distances by frugivorous birds. Vectors include birds and small mammals (7)
Impacts of this species 

A tenacious shrub capable of producing copious amounts of bird-dispersed seed each year, Oriental photinia spreads rapidly and easily into new habitats. This species may form thickets, homogenizing the shrub layer, displacing native species, and shading out germinating seedlings with its dense canopy. (5)

Management Methods 

Biological Control
There is currently no biological control agent in use against this species. 

Manual or Mechanical Control
Pulling / Digging Up: Pulling can attain some measure of control but root sprouting is possible with larger individuals. This method is better used with seedlings or very small plants. (8)

Mowing: Not advisable. Oriental photinia strongly re-sprouts from the root crown. Cutting and mowing strongly increases stem count and density. (8)

Girdling: Not advisable

Prescribed Fire: No information available

Prescribed Grazing: No information available

Soil Tilling: No information available

Mulching: No information available

Solarization: No information available

Hot Foam Spray: No information available

Chemical Control
The pesticide application rates and usage herein are recommendations based on research and interviews with land managers.  When considering the use of pesticides, it is your responsibility to fully understand the laws, regulations and best practices required to apply pesticides in a responsible manner.  At times, the pest you seek to treat may not be on a pesticide label, requiring a 2ee exemption from NYSDEC.  Always thoroughly read the label of any pesticide and consult the NYSDEC or a licensed pesticide applicator with questions.

Foliar Spray: A mixture of glyphosate and triclopyr is effective at managing Oriental photinia. Infestations. Sites managed in this way should be revisited in 2-3 weeks to monitor for regrowth. Always read and follow all instructions on the herbicide label. (8, 9)

Cut Stump: A 50% solution of glyphosate is effective at managing larger plants when applied in the late summer or fall. (8)

Basal Bark: A 25% solution of triclopyr in oil is effective on small shrubs when applied during the growing season. Spray must be applied to 18” of exposed bark. (8)

Stem Injection: No information available

Pre-Emergent Spray: Not applicable

Summary of Best Managment Practices 

General management overview and recommendation
As with any other invasive infestation complex, large stands of Oriental photinia are best managed via a combination of mechanical and chemical means.  Small seedlings can be hand pulled or sprayed while larger shrubs must be sprayed, either with a basal bark, foliar, or cut stump application, to attain good control. All managed infestations should be monitored to ensure exhaustion of the seed bank and to prevent reinvasion from nearby populations. Any new seedlings can be hand pulled or sprayed. 

Post treatment monitoring
Any infestations managed by chemical means must be revisited in 2-3 weeks to check for treatment efficacy.

Disposal Methods
Waste material can be burned, chipped or composted so long as management was completed prior to seed set. Any fruit must be bagged and disposed of. All roots must be thoroughly dried and or crushed.