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Bush identity please

I have a tall bush ( even a small tree) growing in the garden of my new house here in France. I would like to know what it is. Are the berries poisonous and can it be simply cut down to half its current height? The flowers are in bunches, white, very small and somewhat resemble tiny roses. The leaves are small and glossy and it has some large shiny round ?single berries about 1cm in diameter.
It may have been cut back in the past but although the lower half has smaller compact branches which makes me think this, there are two or three centrally growing "trunks" that are about an inch across that bring the height to around 9 feet or so. Can I simply cut these off?

Thanks in advance.



  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,134
    I think your bush/tree is Luma Apiculata, Chilean Myrtle. 

    I can’t see the fruits very well but if they’re small and no more than 1 cm in width, it’s most likely this shrub. They are actually edible. 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 21,852
    It is best to prune this in late winter/early spring.  

    Have a careful look at its structure and see if you can identify one or maybe two main stems that can be taken back almost to the base without spoiling the overall shape and then trim back remaining stems to a couple of feet/60cms below the height you'd like.

    Make sure you have clean, sharp loppers and secateurs so you get clean cuts that don't encourage disease to enter via the wounds.  Use a good pruning saw for thicker stems.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Hi all

    Again, I think that is correct. Thank you. With the name I could check out images on the web just to confirm. So it's myrtle! (Not going to try the berries :-)) There are a couple of main stems that go up through the bush but not from the base so I will take these back this Winter and see how it gets on.
    Thanks for your help.
    I do have a couple of other bushes that I think are Hebe but at present they are not in flower but are extremely large; one even has a small Oak tree growing up through it which I will wriggle in and cut down!
    The problem here is it's size as cutting any of it back will leave just bare twigs. However I'll post some more pics later and ask advice.

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