Trim large bushes


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Hello! I've tried to keep up but I'm getting bushwacked. What is the best way to trim these bushes to half their size so they survive?
They are around six to seven feet high and four to five feet wide. No idea on type. I've started with a chainsaw but it looks so bad, I want to get some advice so there's no permanent damage. A quick search came up with a Fiskars pruning saw which looks good. And these bushes will grow back if I cut them now in the fall? Thank you.

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Welcome crawdad. :)

If you can provide us with a close up picture of the leaves then we should be able to identify them. It's best to find out what they are before pruning any more. Different shrubs have different requirements.
 
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Thank you, Sheal! Here they are. I used the Picture This app which identified the first pic as Yaupon, the second as Horned Holly and the third as Common Holly. The Common Holly grows red berries every year and has a waxy, shiny surface. Do you think they are correctly identified? From what I've gathered, these should be pruned down near the end of winter?


Yaupon.jpg
Horned holly.jpg
Common holly.jpg
 
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Chainsaw not so much! Trouble is it won't make a clean cut on something that thin and flexible and shredding the ends is not good. It allows rot and disease to get in. A large pair of long handled pruners would be best on pieces that are thin enough, then a sharp pruning saw on anything too thick. Plus, there's a difference between pruning and hacking it back. You need a plan, so you end up with a nicely shaped, healthy bush. Typically you should prune out cross growth that will end up a tangled mess in the middle and bear in mind the shape you eventually want. Also prune out and thin tangled and weaker growths to give room for stronger growth.
 
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I'm still learning about hollies myself crawdad, so sorry, I can't help with the identification of yours. I do know that deciduous hollies should be pruned in spring and evergreens in winter.

I agree with everything that cntrlwagdnr has said above regarding pruning. Hollies are also slow growers so pruning them right back as you have, it will take a few years for them to recover.
 
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Yes, thank you both. No, I won't be chainsawing any more bushes! They're evergreens so I'll wait until late winter and do the rest. If they don't grow back I'll just uproot them and plant rocks. By the way, I went back over those mangled limbs with my new lopper.
 
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I think the second and third are varieties of Chinese Holly Ilex cornuta. The second one looks like 'Rotunda' and the third one looks like 'Burford'. You'd be surprised at how fast they will grow back. The top may be smaller but the root system is still the same size. Expect the Yaupon and Burford to grow the fastest. They will send out stiff stems with much longer internodes than normal and bigger leaves. We've done similar hard cutting-back at every time of year. Cutting them now will slow them a little when it cools down, but when it warms up in Spring they'll come roaring back.
 
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Thank you. I would really like to finish the job now; hard to wait once you've started. One thing that surprises me is that the roots have done no damage to the sidewalk.
 
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