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Mystery Massive Mass Shrub Needs Attention!

Hi folks, I'm hoping for a bit of advice from you expert gardeners!

We moved into a new place about a year and half ago and in the front garden is a very overgrown and neglected shrub which I'm unsure what to do with.

I've attached some pictures so you can see its problems and maybe help me work out what it is.

Problems: it's grown very tall (about 12ft or more I reckon). It was terribly overgrown with ivy which I cut back at the base a few months ago. There are a couple of low lying rotten/dead branches. The leaves have black spots on them.

My strategy (subject to what you all think): carefully remove the dead ivy where I can (leaving the parts which are stuck on fast so as to not damage the bark when pulling it off); give it a severe prune, especially on top to reduce the height and encourage grown in the centre; spray it with something to kill whatever is causing the black spots; and those dead branches not sure really, they won't fall off as their supported by a wall and I'm worried about removing them in case it compromises the structure of the main trunk.

I'm half thinking it's a lost cause and should maybe just be removed. If you've got any thoughts or maybe know what it is that would be great so I can know I'm roughly the right the lines.

Thanks in advance and hoping - amidst this terrible time - you're at least (like me) able to spend a bit more time in the garden!



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Posts

  • bullfinchbullfinch SurreyPosts: 567
    Hello @t.j.r.hopkins, it looks like an escallonia , did it have little white flowers in the summer, which attracted the bees? 
  • yorkshireroseyorkshirerose North YorkshirePosts: 574
    It looks like an old, very neglected Escallonia, prone to black spot.
    I would get rid of it rather than try to rescue it. There are far better shrubs.
    A gardener's work is never at an end  - (John Evelyn 1620-1706)
  • That's the one. Many thanks, I'll do some researching about how to care for it.
  • It looks like an old, very neglected Escallonia, prone to black spot.
    I would get rid of it rather than try to rescue it. There are far better shrubs.
    Thank you for your advice, much appreciated.
  • Thinking about getting rid of it, any recommendations of good nurseries who will deliver would be fab. Need to get something that's quite mature as the benefit of the old shrub is that it blocks out the bus stop opposite!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,148
    edited April 2020
    Beware of getting a mature shrub @t.j.r.hopkins . Always harder to establish. 
    You could get a shrub of your choice, and stick a bit of trellis in behind to block out the bus stop until the shrub matures enough.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Fairygirl said:
    Beware of getting a mature shrub @t.j.r.hopkins . Always harder to establish. 
    Thanks for the tip. Any experience of planting mature-ish trees?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,148
    edited April 2020
    Same problem  :)
    You need to be very vigilant with watering and general care with anything mature 

    if you did the trellis, you could have a climber. That would be a bit quicker in terms of getting coverage, and you could have ground cover  planting in front too.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Loraine3Loraine3 Posts: 553
    I would try and revive it by cutting it fairly hard; I've had escallonias in the past and they usually benefit from hard pruning every few years.
  • Loraine3 said:
    I would try and revive it by cutting it fairly hard; I've had escallonias in the past and they usually benefit from hard pruning every few years.
    Many thanks. I think that will be first strategy and see how it does. I've ordered some anti-fungal spray to try and combat the black spot too!
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