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What is it? Can I move it? Questions, questions

Second post on here. I am a clueless new gardener and in process of complete garden overhaul for house we bought. Attached photo is at front. No idea what it is? Wondering if I can move it rather than lose it and whether I can chop it down as it has been allowed to get too ‘leggy’ No idea what right word is!! Have to clear out front area as putting in leylandii hedge. Want to try to save some plants. Anyway, waffling. Thanks.


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,754

    If you're clearing the area anyway I'd just remove it. You can certainly cut it back [that helps with re establishment] and dig it out, but you'll need to water it thoroughly - before and after, even if you have somewhere else to plant it. It's not the best time of year to do it, and it may not survive though.

    I can't see it clearly enough to ID it. Someone else might  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384
    I can't be sure from that photo (need a close-up of leaves and stems) but it looks like and has the growing habit of Forsythia, in which case you can cut it back as hard as you like.  You will lose next year's flowers if you cut it back now, so you could wait until after it has flowered (which is, in general, the correct time to prune most flowering shrubs.)  Personally, I wouldn't wait and would hack it back close to the ground.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,006
    The best time for moving plants and for successful transplanting and planting from new is autumn when the soil is still warm from the summer but also moist form autumn rains.  This means roots can settle well immediately and take the time to grow and develop over winter when the bits above soil are dormant and not putting strain on teh roots.

    I agree with @Alan Clark2 in Liverpool that leylandii is a terrible choice - hard to maintain well, very dull, sucks up all the nutrients and moisture so nothing can survive near it and offers nothing for wildlife in terms of nectar, pollen or fruits.   In addition, if you get the pruning wrong it will outgrow you and if you prune too close it will die off as they don't regenerate form brown wood and, in addition, there is a bug, recently arrived in the UK that loves to munch on and defoliate the plants.

    There are more attractive and cheaper options.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Ok thanks folks. So, not fans of Laylandii then :) As I said - I know nothing. Wanted something quick as want privacy and not a fence. Am going to plant privet in the back to bolster hedge that is already there and looking thin and a bit tired. Is privet ok or is it also evil! Don’t want anything too wide. More than happy to listen to anyone who knows more than me: which is pretty much everyone!! Cheers again. Oh, my app thing said it was Forsythia! 
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,417
    Privet's fine. If it gets away you can cut back into old wood and it'll regrow. In fact if you cut back the thin ones hard they'll probably grow back thick and bushy but you'd be without the privacy while they did it. You can keep it relatively short and narrow if you want to, and it tolerates a wide range of conditions which I guess is why it's so common.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,754
    Privet is a far better bet. It may also be a bit boring, but it's easy to keep controlled, and if you let it flower, it has wildlife benefits too.  :)
    I personally prefer Beech or Hornbeam. Easy to maintain, and can be kept tight and narrow. 
    Leylandii is fine in certain situations, but it needs maintenance from the start, and it needs room.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • FireFire Posts: 18,937
    I would steer clear of Leyland too.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,754
    I should have said too - we're almost in bare root season, so that's a better way of buying hedging if you need a lot.

    Lots of good online nurseries that you can look at. I've used Hopes Grove several times, but there are quite a few.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • bcpathomebcpathome Posts: 1,299
    Pleeeeease don’t plant lelandii my neighbours have it both sides and I can’t grow anything near it. Alll the soil is like dry sand and they grow so tall .We had to cut back our side and now have to live with the brown dead branches as they don’t rejuvenate, it was that or not get out of the drive. Can I suggest beech ,either green or red is nice and the birds love it .It doesn’t take that long to grow if you get largish plants 
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