View Full Version : Bush/shrub identification, pruning recommendations with pictures

01-11-2012, 02:16 PM
The pictures you see below are of a landscape of one of my current lawn customers, focusing primarily on the bush in question. There are more than just one actual planting, but they have all grown together to the point where it is difficult to differentiate between each of them.

The first two were taken closer up to give more detail. The other two will hopefully be helpful by giving an overall appearance of the bushes/shrubs.

This is the only landscape I have seen this bush. If I have seen it before, it was not quite this large and overgrown. First, I would like to know what kind of bush/shrub this is. Second, any thoughts on how to prune this back would be very helpful. I'm in Central Arkansas and we are hovering around 45 daytime averages and just above freezing at night. Would pruning now do too much harm or should it wait until spring/warmer temperatures?

01-12-2012, 11:20 AM
It appears to be Potentilla a flowering shrub. They flower here right around the time the Japanese beetles are coming out. You can cut them back to at least 1/2 to 3/4 the size they are now, real hardy and will come back with a vengeance, also known as job security.

01-13-2012, 01:14 PM
Based on some quick research (very quick), I don't believe that matches this particular plant. The images I came across showed much broader and greener leaves, and I was unable to find any examples of a Potentilla getting as large as the ones I'm up against.

land_scaper, thank you very much for the information and if I am simply missing something, I'd love to be corrected. can anyone agree or disagree with what kind of plant this is?

01-13-2012, 11:46 PM
My first guess was a form of abelia but seeing things in winter is tough. Bite the bullet and ask homeowner if they know, being honest with them wont hurt. Personally I would still prune it back to least half and see what happens, not that attractive anyways

01-14-2012, 10:36 AM
It looks like yew needles on the picture but with a growth habit similar to sprirea... It looks as though it needs a good pruning, in that, it is only growing foliage on the end of the stem...

Prune it back almost to 1/2 its size, as long as there are at least 3 vibrant living buds left to grow...

This is the best time of the year for the majority of plants... Dormancy...

Sometimes early dormancy, but often times late dormancy is best because the heavy snow and ice is done breaking branches and such... :)

Leo the Landscaper
01-15-2012, 08:53 PM
Might be a type of Daphne?

01-16-2012, 12:02 AM
id say cut off a small branch and bring it to you local nursery would be a good start

01-16-2012, 04:18 PM
I saw this this morning. I at first thought possibly the same as many others on here on what it could be. It is tough because of what it seems to be a screwed up winter and what stage the plant is this time of year. Color of the purple stem pissed me off, because I should know that chit being not too common of a color. A light just came on.... I believe it to be an overgrown dwarf arctic willow (salix purpurea). If it is, you can cut it down to about 12 inches, and it will look awesome by mid summer.

Century Landscape
01-17-2012, 10:45 PM
Definitely not abelia, could be a yew of some kind though. I don't think any kind of spirea either. I'm pretty familiar with abelia and spirea. The leaves kind of pattern like some sort of yew, but not sure though.

So, basically - I guess I'm not much help. :laugh: But seriously, wanted to rule out a few of those.

Generally a good time to trim during dormancy. I'll second that.

01-18-2012, 10:01 AM
Regardless, it has the growth habit of spirea(but not actually spirea) and could easily be pruned like one... as long as it's dormant it will be fine... :)

01-18-2012, 05:37 PM
Definetly not a yew or spirea..

01-19-2012, 01:03 PM
Again, I am not disappointed by this amazing community. Although I'm not sold on abelia, spirea or any sort of yew, the thoughts are interesting and I've learned quite a bit regardless by just researching those.

I will be taking a sample to my local nursery possibly this weekend and get some information from a local professional, someone who has probably dealt with this quite a bit, but I was wanting to go into that discussion with some knowledge. I'll try to remember to post back with some results of that talk, and if I feel I did a respectable job, some after shots of the landscape.

01-21-2012, 11:16 AM
I know everyone said it's not a "yew" but damn if it don't look like a "Taxus"

Turf Dawg
01-24-2012, 09:00 AM
I hate trying to idendify something from a pic, but I am going with Wax Myrtle.

Turf Dawg
01-24-2012, 09:14 AM
Well actually Dwarf Wax Myrtle. The color will be darker green during the summer, but looks about right for this time of the year.

Patriot Services
01-24-2012, 09:28 AM
Regardless that whole area is a mess. Way too much mass, no defintion. Personally I would come up with a good design to show the customer what could really be done with that spot. Messes are opportunities.
Posted via Mobile Device

Leo the Landscaper
02-13-2012, 09:57 PM
GravyTrain, Did you ever find out what it is? I still say its a type of Daphne

02-14-2012, 12:23 PM
Regardless that whole area is a mess. Way too much mass, no defintion. Personally I would come up with a good design to show the customer what could really be done with that spot. Messes are opportunities.
Posted via Mobile Device

I wouldn't get to hasty with a complete redo. I would cleanup what's there, by getting the current design to look as originally intended. As the summer progresses, one could always make changes in individual plants. Who knows what a properly manicured landscape would look like.
It is a great opportunity to sell yourself as a horticulturalist as opposed to a big spender of their money. :)

Patriot Services
02-14-2012, 10:25 PM
I have no problem spending other peoples money. I still say you can't prune your way out of a poorly designed landscape. The spacing of those bushes was way off from the get go. Its been almost a month let's here from the OP.
Posted via Mobile Device