Plant ID forum: Unknown Bush - need advice

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Name: Anita
California - Los Angeles Coun (Zone 11a)
anirob11
Jan 9, 2016 6:48 PM CST
Hello - Seeking help in identifying a bush (name/species) as well as advice on transplanting. I live in Southern California USA. The bush stays green year round and has some red leaves if we don't keep it trimmed. No flowers or berries.
We used to keep it trimmed so there were two round sections but as the pictures show, we've not done that lately. We need to relocate the bush and would appreciate any input/info that might be helpful. Would love to know its name! Thank you so much, Anita

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[Last edited by anirob11 - Jan 9, 2016 7:14 PM (+)]
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 9, 2016 7:01 PM CST
Hi anirob, it will help a lot if you could give us your approx. location - country, state, city . . That will narrow the possible number of shrubs it could be.

Is this shrub evergreen where you are? I see leaves turning red up on the top.

Does it have flowers? If so, could you give us color, shape etc. ?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jan 9, 2016 7:06 PM CST
It looks a bit like an Elaeagnus, but I don't know which one.
Porkpal
Name: Anita
California - Los Angeles Coun (Zone 11a)
anirob11
Jan 9, 2016 7:12 PM CST
Additional info - I live in Southern California USA. The bush stays green year round and has some red leaves if we don't keep it trimmed. No flowers or berries.

This is my first post. I hope I'm adding this info in the correct manner!

Thank you!

Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jan 9, 2016 7:13 PM CST
Reminds me of
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Jan 9, 2016 7:44 PM CST
My thought also Lin. Looks like some one started forming a topiary out of it.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 9, 2016 7:59 PM CST
That sure does look like it, Lin.

Anirob, you could add your location to your personal profile (upper left, the little person icon) so that it will appear in all your posts. Very helpful when you are asking questions about gardening.

As far as moving that big shrub, timing is pretty important. Choose the coolest weather, (like now??) make sure it is well hydrated (it has actually been raining, right?) before you dig it up, and move as large a root ball as you can possibly handle. Prune the top growth in proportion to the root ball eg. if you think you're leaving behind half the roots, prune off half the top. But don't remove all the leafy growth. Thin the top growth by cutting out old branches. After you get it replanted, be sure to not let it dry out, and if you can, shade it with a piece of shade cloth, or even branches from other trees until you see new growth. Once you see new leaves, that means you also have root growth, and the plant will usually survive.

But you can't just turn your back on it, make sure it doesn't wilt, and as the weather warms up, keep an eye on it for signs of stress. If needs be, you could shade it for its whole first summer to make sure it gets it's new roots established well.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jan 9, 2016 8:00 PM CST
Jean, Yes ... I know some folks prune them to short, dense shrubs/hedges while others let them just grow wildly. When we moved into this house there were Photinia all along the back of our deck blocking the view of the waterway behind the house. They were taller than the house. We took all but two of them out and those two I trimmed the lower branches so as to not block the view in that direction.

Another possibility is Eugenia myrtifolia that folks sometimes prune to topiary forms:
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=eugenia+shrub&view=detai...
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=eugenia+myrtifolia&qpvt=...

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Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Jan 9, 2016 8:16 PM CST
Agreed, but the OP said no flowers no berries so that kinda precludes Eugenia myrtifolia.
Skåne, Sweden (Zone 7b)
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William
Jan 10, 2016 5:04 AM CST
If you have to move the bush right now, you have no other option than to simply do it, but if you can wait a year I'll recommend to prune the roots first to make a more compact root system. Simply stick a spade around the bush in a wide circle that is is roughly as big as the root clump you want to move later on. If the root system is very deep you may need to dig a small trench around the bush first to get deep enough with the spade. After a year or so (this depends on species and climate, here it would take at least one growing season) the bush will have grown a new compacter root system with many fine roots where you did the cut. In the mean time water and fertilize a little inside the circle you did with the spade to encourage the roots to stay close to the bush.

Later on when you move it, it can be beneficial to slide something under it and simply drag it to its new location. This of course is just in addition to what dyzzypyxxy(Elaine) said about pruning the top growth/shading and so on.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jan 10, 2016 9:36 AM CST
William is giving excellent advice. Successfully relocating a mature shrub requires quite a bit of time. Pruning the roots periodically, allowing new compact roots to grow, (rinse and repeat Rolling on the floor laughing ) is the best way to insure success.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jan 10, 2016 10:02 AM CST
Moonhowl said:Agreed, but the OP said no flowers no berries so that kinda precludes Eugenia myrtifolia.


Eugenia myrtifolia has blooms and berries, as does Photinia but I'm still leaning towards Photinia.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jan 10, 2016 11:48 AM CST
If the plant has been kept trimmed (at least until lately) wouldn't that prevent the plant from making blooms and berries?
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Anita
California - Los Angeles Coun (Zone 11a)
anirob11
Jan 10, 2016 11:53 AM CST
Wow ... thanks to everyone for the wonderful advice and tips! Unfortunately I won't be able to wait a year due to its location and forthcoming construction in a few months (once the anticipated El Nino passes). I didn't mention in my original post that it is planted next to the garage at top of our driveway in. I'd imagine the root system is spread under the concrete. We will have limitations as to diameter when we dig it out - the area of dirt opening is not large. Thanks for your help Hurray! Thank You!
Name: Anita
California - Los Angeles Coun (Zone 11a)
anirob11
Jan 10, 2016 12:02 PM CST
Greene - I suppose so! I'm so new to this subject! I'm actually intrigued about having to move this bush. Perhaps the new location, care, trimming, etc will produce a total new look of this vibrant, hardy beauty! Angel
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jan 10, 2016 1:40 PM CST
I still think it looks more like Elaeagnus. My photinia has more elongated leaves and is currently covered in red berries, but then I can't account for the red leaves...
Porkpal
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Jan 10, 2016 3:13 PM CST
@porkpal could be right with the ID of Anita's plant as Elaeagnus (Autumn Olive) of some sort. It just reminded me of Photinia that grows here. Anita's plant does have a resemblance to E. umbellata, I wonder if it grows in California? Some species of Elaeagnus are listed as invasive in some areas.

My Photinia trees currently have a few blooms and berries:
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~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Anita
California - Los Angeles Coun (Zone 11a)
anirob11
Jan 10, 2016 5:45 PM CST
Hmmm... here's a couple of close-up pics of the leaves on my bush. The middle pic is a view looking up towards the top of it. Rolling my eyes.

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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Jan 10, 2016 5:54 PM CST
I was looking online for an evergreen shrub which shows red new growth and found one called Distylium 'Linebacker' .
Don't know if it's a good guess or not.
We have several varieties of Distylium in our ATP database and ZERO photos!! The 'Linebacker' is not even listed.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jan 10, 2016 6:00 PM CST
In the newer pictures the leaves can be seen to be opposite, which rules out alternate leaved Eleagnus, Photinia and Distylium.

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