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Shrub ID please... Possibly Escallonia?

Just looking for a bit of help working out what this shrub is? We've been in the house for 3 years but not seen it flower (in memory if it even does?) so haven't got much more to go on other than the leaves.  

It was heavily covered in leave soot which I've tried my best to get rid of as it arches our gate nicely but as it's getting more sparse with foliage I'm considering a really hard prune of removing it all together.

Posts

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,596
    Pictures will not load for me.
  • Hopefully you can see these?

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,423
    If you haven't seen flowers, it's possible you may have missed them.

    Phillyrea Latifolia has similar looking foliage and often used for pruning into shapes. The flowers are very small in spring time, followed by dark berries. Take a look at that to see if they look similar to your shrub.
  • If you haven't seen flowers, it's possible you may have missed them.

    Phillyrea Latifolia has similar looking foliage and often used for pruning into shapes. The flowers are very small in spring time, followed by dark berries. Take a look at that to see if they look similar to your shrub.
    Thanks I think you're right! Now you mention the small flowers that does seem to remind me when I sweep the path below, although no berries to be seen as in many of the images I've seen online!
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,423
    edited 11 June
    Looking at your photos again, and working out the scale of leaves from first and last photos, I now suspect it may be an Italian Buckthorn shrub, Rhamnus Alaternus. 

    I have only seen the variegated versions, and from what I have seen, the leaves are normally very small, and the leaves from your last photo looks very small all over. 

    Again, this shrub, very similar to Phillyrea, has very small pale green/yellow flowers in spring followed by small fruit. Take a look at that to see if that fits.
  • barryk28Ddp0hD13barryk28Ddp0hD13 Posts: 4
    edited 11 June
    Looking at your photos again, and working out the scale of leaves from first and last photos, I now suspect it may be an Italian Buckthorn shrub, Rhamnus Alaternus. 

    I have only seen the variegated versions, and from what I have seen, the leaves are normally very small, and the leaves from your last photo looks very small all over. 

    Again, this shrub, very similar to Phillyrea, has very small pale green/yellow small flowers in spring followed by small fruit. Take a look at that to see if that fits.
    Funnily enough that was one that google suggested after i searched for the Phillyrea, which does seem a lot closer! Still not sure what to do with it though? Like the shape but it's just too bare! Thanks again for the id.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,423
    Pruning and thinning the branches will encourage more branching and therefore new fresh leaves. Make sure the soil is well drained but also with a mulch over the top to keep the shrub from experiencing the extremes. Bad air flow, too much shade or growing under tree canopies can sometimes weaken their growth.

    We have seen some pretty harsh dry weather followed by wet winter weather and in this year, a very wet late spring, not ideal for many plants. 

    They are lovely shrubs and I believe a bit of pruning to thin out will encourage them to grow back better. On dull days when the sun is not out, you can blast the leaves with the hose set on a jet setting. 
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