Help with identification of shrubs please!


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Hello folks,

I'm a first-time poster and pretty novice gardener!

I just bought a property on a half acre lot. The previous owners, who were not here for very long, did not keep up with the maintenance of the lot very well.. Many shrubs are over-grown and in need of attention. I want to prune some back. I have already started on a couple that I was able to ID on my own - a red-twig dogwood and a purple-leaf sand cherry. I cit back the dogwood aggressively because it had become wild looking, with lots of old, dead and large trunks. I saved a few of the younger shoots cutting them back a fair bit too but not completely. I am going to tackle the sand cherry today as it has also become scraggly and over-grown. I plan to target all of the big branches and even the smaller ones cutting them back as close to the ground as possible. I hope this is the proper strategy for this plant under these conditions.

I need help IDing a few others and I will start with this one for now since I am going to also prune it today or tomorrow. By the way, I am in zone 4 (or 5b). Thank you very much in advance!




 
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I have no clue what that is, but I gotta say; what a tangled mess! Is that one clump, or is there something else growing thru it? Looks like it needs a good opening up from the inside out.
 
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I have no clue what that is, but I gotta say; what a tangled mess! Is that one clump, or is there something else growing thru it? Looks like it needs a good opening up from the inside out.
Thanks for the reply, LIcenter. I might as well take the pruning sheers to it and cut it back. It's still cold here (high 30s/low 40s) so should be a good time... I heavily pruned a red-twig dogwood yesterday that was close to this. Any chance it's a lilac? I thought the buds and branches would give it away..

Any other guesses out there?
 
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No clue what it is . I would clean it up and make it look like a tree
You should see the other stuff on the property!! Seems like every shrub is a mess... they lived here for 3+ years and I'm pretty sure they did nothing except cut the grass... It's going to take me 2 years to get the place in order...I have no idea about the ID of several other plants... want to know soon so that I can begin pruning before the warm weather hits.. Might take samples to a good garden centre.

labor of love, i guess...
 
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want to know soon so that I can begin pruning before the warm weather hits
It will be very difficult to identify any plant without being able to see it in leaf or flower. The usual thing to do when in a new property is to take it slowly and try to identify everything before getting too heavy handed with the garden. If you try to cut things back too early you may lose some good plants.
 
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It will be very difficult to identify any plant without being able to see it in leaf or flower. The usual thing to do when in a new property is to take it slowly and try to identify everything before getting too heavy handed with the garden. If you try to cut things back too early you may lose some good plants.
i know, you;re right... Can certain shrubs then be at least slightly or modestly pruned once they've greened up?
 
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Most can but it depends on what it is whether you might lose that year's flowers. Reducing the height won't cause loss of flower and it looks as though it could do with a really good thinning out - without causing harm.

So reduce the height now - if that's what you want to do - and wait just a while until we can see what it is. Do you know about thinning out?
 
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Most can but it depends on what it is whether you might lose that year's flowers. Reducing the height won't cause loss of flower and it looks as though it could do with a really good thinning out - without causing harm.

So reduce the height now - if that's what you want to do - and wait just a while until we can see what it is. Do you know about thinning out?
Actually, I'd love some tips on thinning out a shrub or the like. What is involved? Which branches to select? Thank you kindly...
 
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It depends on whether they're shrubs or trees. Also it depends on what they are.

Thinning out of trees, as your photo seems to be, is normally done by removing branches that face in towards the middle of the tree and are criss-crossing each other. They can, sometimes, be removed completely or pruned back by one third or two thirds.

Shrubs can be similar to trees or similar to bushes. Either pruning back where they cross (and shortening if too tall) or just cutting with shears or hedge cutters.

That's why it's important to know what they are before doing too much. Also, with a move to another house it's normally recommended to wait a year to see what comes up.
 
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thanks for the info... will at least start on that pictured one... You say it's a tree but it seems to be more of a shrub to me... Maybe it's a more common plant variety in Canada, since that is where I live? I am in zone 4b/5ish.
 
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Here's a pic of a red twig dogwood - I gave it a major haircut based on internet information. It was a HOT MESS.

 
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Re tree/shrub: this may be a language barrier problem :).

In the photos it appears to be as tall as the house!

Dogwoods (Cornus) come in a large variety of forms. The majority of them are grown in gardens mainly for the coloured display of the bark in the winter but there are varieties that are grown for their leaves or bracts and they should pruned in early summer. There's one variety that is grown for its winter flowering! Gets complicated, doesn't it. ;)

Yours seems to be the coloured bark variety, but I haven't seen it in leaf.

Here's some pruning info (saves me typing!)

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=161

The majority of Cornus come in shades of red but there are a number of different colours (yellow is also quite common) and, certainly, a lot of different sizes.

P1020940.JPG


P1020925.JPG




P1020965.JPG


P1020952.JPG


And here's one of ours that we grow just for the variegated foliage

333_3330.JPG
 
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To get a better perspective on the size (and perhaps the variety of the shrub in question), here is a picture taken about 3.5 years ago. The shrub in question is positioned at the extreme left of the home (you can see the neighbour's home in the background).

While we are at it, I am also attempting to ID that small reddish shrub that is located at the centre pillar (below the two hanging flower baskets). Any clue?

Thanks again!

 
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That certainly looks like a big shrub (y) but could, equally, be a small tree :D. Do you have any closer photo of it in leaf (or bloom).

We need a closer picture of the red plant as well.

The one on the right looks like Euonymous 'Silver Queen' or 'Silver King'. The green part is either another plant or that part has reverted to the basic green.
 
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That certainly looks like a big shrub (y) but could, equally, be a small tree :D. Do you have any closer photo of it in leaf (or bloom).

We need a closer picture of the red plant as well.

The one on the right looks like Euonymous 'Silver Queen' or 'Silver King'. The green part is either another plant or that part has reverted to the basic green.
I can take a pic of the red plant but it's leaf-less at the moment and since everyone here is telling me that it's hard to ID at this time of the year, I'm not sure how useful the pic would be to you... It does have a very distinct look, though, so you may be able to determine what it is... branches are still kind of reddish and it's almost thorny/gnarly looking. I am aware that the plant on the right is a euonymous. I am not fond of them and since it is quite scraggly and unhealthy looking at the moment, I intend to replace it. There is another one on the opposite side (out of view in the pic). I would like to plant two flower shrubs - perhaps a rise of sharon, weigela, hydrangea, or even a knockout rose - something with a lot of showy impact. What would you recommend? It is a sunny, south-facing spot. Our winters can be quite harsh (-25 C is not uncommon with averages in January/Feb of around -10C. I believe we are zone 5b (Ontario).
 
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There's really no point in photographing it without leaves.

Euonymous is very easy to keep neat by cutting/shaping it with shears or hedge cutters.

We keep these golden ones short

333_3363.JPG


but this Silver Queen we train upwards

P1120505.JPG


They can all be cut very smooth like a hedge.

Hydrangeas are very showy plants and come in a lot of different colours. One that is different and can be cut down to 12" each year is Annabelle. It's one of the most cold hardy of the hydrangeas (I think it's supposed to be hardy down H3) and is quite spectacular when in bloom. It tends to need some support as the stems are soft wood (new growth each year) and the flower heads are big. We cut ours down to 6" each year.

P1080015.JPG


Weigelias also come in a range of colours and growth habits. They can be trained into different shapes. I don't know how hardy they are but you can check locally. They also come in variegated leaf styles with light coloured flowers. We just let this grow where it wants but others we shape into standards with or keep as low shrubs.

P1120762.JPG


With regard to roses: @wiseowl on this forum is an expert. (y)
 
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Gorgeous pics! Very nice... your annabelles look fabulous but I am niot a fan of them. I've grown them before and I find they look tired by late summer. Our winters are cold but it can hit 35C (high 90s) often here... we have a weird climate here in Southern Ontario. Toronto's climate is a lot like NY except a bit colder... extremes. Probably closer to Chicago. So annabelles seem to struggle in our heat. Are you in the UK? If so, I suppose that would be perfect climate for annabelles.

Love the weigelias. Which cultivar is that? Do they flower all summer or just spring?
 

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