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Renovating Large Old Shrubs

FlapjackFlapjack Nouvelle-Aquitaine South West FrancePosts: 7
Hello new member requesting advice!  I have acquired a garden which has numerous shrubs that are very overgrown and contain old wood. Some have very few leaves so ID is difficult!How far can I cut these back and I'm assuming this can be done in Jan or Feb? Thanks Pete
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  • owd potterowd potter Posts: 342
    Hiya Pete, welcome.
    When and how is going to depend what they are.
    Can you post a photo or 2, someone may be able to identify  
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,153
    Hi @pjconstable - there's two choices here.  :)
    Either - cut them back and hope they all come away [most shrubs don't pop their clogs!] and then see what you like or don't like, although flowering may not happen with this method as you could be removing flowering stems/branches.
    Or - leave them until they have foliage/flowers, ask for help with ID ing them, and then prune accordingly. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • FlapjackFlapjack Nouvelle-Aquitaine South West FrancePosts: 7
    Thanks for the advice.  I've managed a couple of pics of remaining foliage. If anyone can ID that would be helpful. Thanks again.

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 7,055
    I think the second one may be ceanothus, hopefully someone can confirm. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,153
    I thought Escallonia for the 2nd one. Those are both evergreen anyway - so a view of the whole shrub would help. Ceanothus don't always react well to heavy pruning so it would be good to see the sort of sizes you have  :)

    First looks familiar but my brain won't come up with anything. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 5,997
    I think Escallonia for the 2nd one as well. The first reminds me of apple tree branches?
  • BijdezeeBijdezee BPosts: 1,316
    I would agree that the second one looks like escallonia. I would check for any congested or dead wood and cut that out but wait until spring and Identification might be easier. 
  • FlapjackFlapjack Nouvelle-Aquitaine South West FrancePosts: 7
    Thanks everyone for your advice and replies. I've looked at pictures of Escallonia and agree it looks like it. I've attached a photo of the shrub, which just has a little growth at the top and end of branches. 



  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 5,997
    @pjconstable , I'd cut your losses and get rid of that one, it looks too old and tatty ever to come back.
    You could plant something else you really like in that spot.
    Can you post a photo of the other plant please, it might help us to ID it better.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,153
    Yep - that's an ex shrub and not worth trying to rejuvenate it.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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