Thanks very much for the suggestions. I was trying to work out which variety it is but was unable to determine from the seed pods as they grew to just larger than pea size then dropped off even though they were still green. I cut the rest off in case they produced new plants.
These were already planted when we bought the house and they do seem to be acting as loose screening, though not a proper hedge.
Thanks Ladybird4 for the Eleagnus suggestion. The underside of the leaf is green though the top leaf is darker than the underside, and shiny and the seed/berry description doesn't seem right from what I've read.
Thanks too to nutcutlet and Papi Jo for the Prunus laurocerasus suggestion. The ones I have are currently 2m tall with an approx. stem diameter of 4 to 5cm. I don't know how old they are though they could be up to 20 years old, which is when the house was built. The leaf size is approx. 19cm long x 5cm wide, and they do have a fine serrated margin but the flowering period doesn't seem right. The description I have is that the flower buds appear early spring and open early summer but I cut the seed heads off around 3 or 4 weeks ago which suggests that flowering was much earlier, though I can't remember when exactly. The seeds started falling off when they were still green so I cut them off. They were not dissimilar to the pictures that I've seen of the Prunus laurocerasus seeds but they were no way near being black. So I cannot be sure that these are the variety you suggest. Why do neither of you like them?
Thanks for your post too Dovefromabove. Unfortunately my plants don't seem to be big enough or thick enough for nesting in, though it would be nice.
It does seem that my plants are laurus though I still cannot be sure of the variety. I may have to wait until next year when I can take some photos of flowers and seeds. As you can see from the first photo there are quite a few yellow leaves on my plants at the moment. I'm about to use a general slow release pellet feed in the hope they might stop shedding. Any suggestions gratefully received.
Sorry for the long post and thanks again, Angie
I think they're just standard Prunus laurocerasus Angie. Mine often drop the fruits at the green stage.
Why don't some of us like them?
For me, too big and lacking in elegance. Can be pruned back, but look awful for weeks afterwards. A tendency for the odd branch to go yellow and die back, causing further die back after removal. Branches get very top heavy and break off in heavy snow if we get any. And last week the wind ripped a large branch apart and into another which will result in the whole thing being cut back to base when we get round to it
Thanks Edd. It certainly could be though not sure about the seed stalks as I can't see them clearly. The seeds were falling off mine when they were green so perhaps there was a deficiency problem. This could be as quite a few of the leaves are yellowing and dropping at the moment.
The leaf stalks on your pic seem to be red. I just checked and mine are definitely green though the leaf is right. Whilst checking however I found a seed stalk that I missed, which still has green seeds attached, so I'll take a pic later when hubby gets home and post it. There is a main seed stalk with mini stalks coming off it with a single green seed attached at the end of each.
Getting closer Angie
Think about the probabilities. Which is the one found in found in all GCs, sold by all hedging companies and forming miles of hedging in the uk?
You're probably right nutcutlet. I didn't see your post before I replied to Edd.
I'm in Basel, North Switzerland, which can get pretty cold in winter and pretty hot in Summer - recently been around 30°C. I'll bear your comments in mind as we are prone to snow too. Yellowing and leaf drop is definitely occurring at the moment.
Mine seem to be growing freely and do not appear to have been shaped. I don't think I'll try to shape them but maybe tidy them up a bit and see how they go.
When I get a mo I'll pop to local GC and check what they have, though I'm sure you're right.
Thanks again, Angie
nutcutlet wrote (see)
Think about the probabilities. Which is the one found in found in all GCs, sold by all hedging companies and forming miles of hedging in the uk? Prunus laurocerasus
Horrible "miles of Prunus laurocerasus hedging" not only in the UK. We also have them in France, unfortunately. They should be banned - or even better, a tax should be levied on them and re-distributed to organizations that encourage bio-diversity.
and I forgot to mention the dead leaves that take years to rot down
Papi Jo and nutcutlet: I'll bear in mind your comments. Laurus is new to me and so far I don't have too much of an opinion on them. I can't be sure that I won't be joining your club in the future though!
Photos below of the seed stalk (or whatever they're called).
I think I'll leave this one on to see if the seeds/pods turn black.