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help identifying tree for pruning

Hi guys, I have a few simple questions - what is this from (it's from a rather large bush/small tree in my front garden), and how do i hard prune it to avoid killing it? It's grown too big for the space so was thinking of taking it right down to the hard wood. It sprouts new shoots from all over as you can see so I think I'll be OK...

Thanks guys,

p.s it's not a (bay laurel)


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,470
    Looks like a buddleja. If so it should flower in a couple of months.Post a photo then for definite identification.  I would leave it until then, it is a good source of nectar. Then cut it down by half after it has finished flowering to stop wind rock in winter, then slaughter it to a foot off of the ground next March. It will be 6ft and flowering again by August.  If it is a B.  x weyerana or globosa   one of the species it is treated slightly differently.   You can also take cuttings now from unflowered new shoots, if you want to have a spare or two.
  • Thanks for your reply but it doesn't flower so can't be what you suggested. Any other ideas are welcome - none of the neighbours or my plant ID app have a clue either! 
  • yorkshireroseyorkshirerose North YorkshirePosts: 574
    Could it be Embothrium? It may not be in the right climate to flower.
    A gardener's work is never at an end  - (John Evelyn 1620-1706)
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,391
    edited August 2019
    Is it evergreen or deciduous?  The leaf looks a bit willow-like to me.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Is it evergreen or deciduous?  The leaf looks a bit willow-like to me.
    I should have mentioned that; it's deciduous Bob
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,687
    Agree with BobTheGardener there. More likely a Willow if deciduous. Very difficult with Willows, so many and if pruned often hard to know for sure which one. 
  • Thanks guys, I think it is some kind of willow but after some internetting i'm non-the-wiser as to which sort! Is there are a general rule for pruning trees of the willow family? 

    My plan is to hard prune right back to the main branches in autumn after leaf-fall....
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,687
    There are so many Willows, I would be cautious and prune back next year in early spring. 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,567
    You could pollard it in winter, before the sap starts rising again in late January but, being willow, it is likely to respond by producing a thicket of new stems and foliage that will not be very attractive.   

    I would advise removing all new stems below the current crown height and then removing a third to a half of the mature, woody stems to their base on the trunk.  This will lighten the shrub considerably.  You can then step back, examine the shape and decide about how far back to trim the remaining stems currently in leaf.  
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,976
    As Obelixx says, wherever you prune to will produce a dense mass of new stems. I would get rid of it entirely if I were you, and plant something that will be more decorative and manageable. (Especially if it's near to the house).
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