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Help with Identification Please?

Hello All,

I recently bought a house and I've inherited a few plants that I have no idea what they are. I'm sure I will be on this site quite a bit over the next year or so as I try to sort out the garden. It was quite neglected and some things have outgrown their spot. For example, there is a rather large buddleia and an unidentified conifer plant right directly in front of a security flood light. All night, every night, every time the wind blows these things move and the front of my property and half the road lights up so bright I'm sure they can see it from space!

Can I move the buddleia now? I'd hate to loose it as it is rather nice. I have no idea what type it is, but when I moved in it had purple flowers that were just fading and it's kept it's green leaves so far this winter. It is currently taller than 2m. I've attached photos of the conifer type plant that I would like help identifying please.  It is taller than 2m and it is not 'soft' to touch, but rather sharp or spikey. The outside looks green/grey and healthy, but the inside is all brown and looks dead. Any ideas what it is, if it's possible to move it and if so, can I move it now? 

I should say that I took these photos and then later realised that the tree had been tied up with string. I cut the string (which had been tied all through the plant, presumably to keep it more narrow?) and now the tree has become 'wider'. At this point the light was fading and I couldn't get another photo today, but I can take another one tomorrow if that would help to identify this? I was a bit concerned that someone had tied the tree up and now I'm wondering just how tall and wide this tree is going to get! image 

Thank you for your help!




  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    Buddleia shrubs and the conifer can be moved if your soil conditions are not too wet and frozened. But best to wait for spring time. The three photos of the conifer looks like a juniper to me. Possibly Juniperus Communis Hibernica. 

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,121

    Your coniferous subject is one of the upright blue Junipers ; one of maybe J.pyramidalis , 'Wichita Blue' , 'Moonglow' , Monrovia Blue','Blue Point' , to name a few ; an expert on these trees would be able to ID positively .

    It is quite normal for the inner stems of Junipers to turn brown , and they can be CAREFULLY trimmed albeit lightly .

    You could try moving the Buddleia , but @2m+ high it could pose a problem ; will have a substantial root system by now .

    I'll bet your neighbours love the security light (!)image



  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,121

    I think Borderline is correct in the ID ; all of these (far too many) blue cultivars probably originated from one species in the first place . (They're all b****y sharp) !!image

    If you do move the Buddleia , I would prune drastically first .

  • Thank you all! I appreciate your very helpful responses!!

    I had no idea that was a juniper! It's planted about a foot away from my house, and I'm wondering how difficult it's going to be to dig out as it appears to have been there for a while. I will most definitely need a thick pair of gloves before attempting that because it is sharp! I made the mistake of grabbing a branch today to get a better photo... Ouch!! 

    I think I will definitely need to prune the buddleia before attempting to move it. Someone apparently bought a small potted buddleia, put the pot next to the juniper and left it. Over time the plant has grown through the pot (which is now all broken up around the base) and there are several large stems coming up (which I imagine means a huge root system!!). 

    Both of these plants are in a sort of raised, brick and concrete bed, so I wonder just how difficult these roots are going to be to dig out if they've gone under the bricks or something (I'm not sure how this bed was constructed). 

    I wish I could wait until Spring, but with the rather bright flood light going off quite frequently I'm sure my new neighbours would appreciate me moving these sooner rather than later! image 

    Thank you so much again for your help!!

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,121


    Looking at the siting of the Juniper and the proximity of the raised wall , you may be better off cutting your losses and getting rid . Both are readily available should you require replacements .

    Conifers don't always move well , and at that size its survival would be doubtfulimage

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

    It is really easy to take cuttings from your buddleia and much easier to move them! In Spring just as growth is starting cut lengths about 12 to 18 inches from young healthy branches. Trim just below a leaf joint at the bottom and just above at the top and push it firmly into the soil in an out of the way spot. Leave about 6 to 9 inches sticking out. Do a few and let them be until you see strong growth, then you can plant them where you want them.

  • Papi JoPapi Jo Posts: 3,992

    Hi Pretty Pink Flowers,

    I do not understand how those "security flood lights" work. What is their purpose? What makes them go on/off?

    I strongly advise to completely remove those obnoxious two trees of yours. I'm always amazed how people can be so careless as to plant trees so close to buildings.image

    In my garden there is a 20m tall Caucasian fir whose trunk is about 1 meter from a nearby small block of flats. However I do not feel concerned, as that building was erected when the fir-tree was already 15 m high:

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • Unfortunately, I think you might be right and I need to cut my losses with them both. I hate to cut them down, but I don't think I'll be able to move them. I've taken photos this morning of the buddleia growing through it's pot. I don't think it was ever 'planted' as such. I will try to take a few cuttings off that and see what happens. 

    I'm not exactly sure how the security system here is set up. It's quite old to be honest and needs replacing, it's on my (ever growing) to do list!image There is a rather large flood light sitting on the wall directly behind these two (over sized) plants. When someone walks up my garden path towards my front door/window the plants are blocking the sensor, so the light doesn't always trigger. However, when the plants move, the light goes off and half the street lights up as the light actually sits just above the top of the plants, but the sensor is pointing downward towards the footpath. I will most definitely be replacing that light, but until I get to that job I would like to keep it for now as there have been a string of burglaries in the area and it would be nice if the light went off when a person walks up towards my house. I currently have no other outside light, so the floodlight will have to do for now.

    I guess the best way to remove these two plants would be to saw them off at their bottoms? Then there will just be the stumps to sort out. I'm rather sad to loose these two, but they shall be replaced (in a more suitable location) with the same or something similar. 

    image imageimage

  • Plenty of nice cutting material on that buddleia!

    Worth trying some of those new shoots in some gritty compost somewhere warm and light (but not too sunny) and see what happens. They don't usually take long to root. Buddleias are best cut down every year to a  low level  to encourage lots of flowering shoots, so you could do that and then leave it until your cuttings have taken before actually digging it up.

  • That's a great idea, thank you! I think I shall try that. I've read that buddleias are actually quite resilient, so perhaps after cutting it down today there is still a small chance it could be dug out and moved in the spring. At least I'll have the cuttings if nothing else! image

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