Can you identify this bush, and how should I cut it back?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
19 replies 2K views
jonny2510jonny2510 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
We have this bush (see pics below) on the side of our house that we want to cut back drastically.

It's around 150 cm deep (from the front to the wall) and we'd ideally like it to be 1/2 of that (75cm).

  • Can anyone identify this bush?
  • Can I just hack it back (to 1/2 it's current depth)? - or do I need to be more careful/methodical?
  • Is now the right time of year to do it?
  • Does anyone know when it should start budding?
I'm worried I'll just be left with a woody mess / dead bush!

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Replies

  • LeifLeif Forumite
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    I think that is a Cotoneaster. They take pruning well, in fact I butchered one at the side of my house, and it grew back beautifully. Google for better information, and by looking at photos you should be able to confirm if it is Cotoneaster, and which species.
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  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    Yes, Cotoneaster.

    It will look bare and woody after pruning but it will be a surprise if it doesn't quickly green up in the Spring.

    Trim back regularly to keep it at the size you want it to stay at.
  • sobiesobie Forumite
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    Yep its Cotoneaster.

    Please don't cut it back until the birds have eaten all the berries. Other than that you can do what you like to it, tough as old boots plant.
  • LeifLeif Forumite
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    sobie wrote: »
    Yep its Cotoneaster.

    Please don't cut it back until the birds have eaten all the berries. Other than that you can do what you like to it, tough as old boots plant.

    Stupid question, but do they really eat them? I had several Cotoneaster, and the berries seemed to remain on them. If they really do eat them, I might be tempted to plant some new ones (in a new site). Birds are good, even if their poo sows weeds.
    Warning: This forum may contain nuts.
  • jonny2510jonny2510 Forumite
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    Many thanks for all the replies. Just what I wanted to hear :)
  • jonny2510jonny2510 Forumite
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    I've just done some more reading and am confused again!!!

    Having never really pruned a shrub before, I'm a little confused. My plan was to take a hedge trimmer to it, and just cut it right back to the shape I wanted (leaving a kind of flat, cut back hedge).

    However, after doing some reading, people seem to be referring to pruning/cutting back main branches and something about lateral branches!

    Can anyone explain to a dummy(!) the steps I should follow?
  • LeifLeif Forumite
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    Depends. I took a hedge trimmer to my flowering quince, and it bounced back beautifully. I did the same to a Cotoneaster, it worked a treat. Some say hand pruning is better. For trees, you do need to hand prune, in order to shape the growth.
    Warning: This forum may contain nuts.
  • cjb02cjb02 Forumite
    608 Posts
    cotoneaster are very difficult to kill off, so I would go with the original plan and take the hedge trimmer to it. It will take it very well and grow well this coming year. depending on the variety, pollinators (bees) like the flowers. so a good plant.
  • jonny2510jonny2510 Forumite
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    Thanks for that. It looks like I've got some work to do this weekend :)
  • jonny2510jonny2510 Forumite
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    Now I've enlisted some help (;)), can anyone identifier the other two shrubs along the same wall as my Contoneaster, as they're due a trim too!

    photo006.jpg

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