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With the drought last year I lost two fairly large (~ 5 foot tall) Photonia/Redtip shrubs that were part of a hedge. I've been to several nurseries, but the biggest one I've seen for sale anywhere is about 2' tall. It seems like it will take years for something that size to catch up to its siblings in the hedge row and look bad.

I assume there is some resource that landscapers have to find shrubs to address this problem, but I'd like to try this as a DIY project if possible. Can anyone provide guidance for what I should be looking for in the phonebook/google to find larger shrubs/plants?

Also, judging by the root system on the dead ones I pulled up, there might be some challenge planting a shrub that big. Any advice/tips to ensure survival of a large shrub when planting to protect my investment? I'm sure they won't be cheap, if I can even find them.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

They are available, but they don't come cheaply. In regards to logistics, suppliers can usually deliver (also at considerable cost) and with larger trees you will need some sort of equipment to move them into position.

The phrase you should be searching for is "advanced trees" or "established trees" in your area.

Your other option is private growers, but these are usually only found by word of mouth and can sometimes be cheaper than a nursery.

We had a private grower of azaleas and cameleas in Sydney who sold plants mainly in the 5 - 10 year range. Last time I went, 2/3 of his stock was snapped up for filming on the Great Gatsby :(

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You said your hedge was five feet. A two foot Photonia will, under natural conditions, catch up to it's larger partner in two years. Of course, it may take a year or so later to get as thick as the older ones. Also, here is a large size.

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