What kind of bush/tree is this?

Blue Velvet

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And what do we need to do to cut it right down and/or restrict its growth? If I have to help pay for a gardener to do the job, I will.

It's growing outside my friends place in Islington and it's starting to get a little out of control. It was there when she moved in a year ago and is blocking out the light to her living room and just becoming a nuisance on the street to everyone as you can see from the pictures.

But it's far too big for her and I to start at it with clippers... was wondering whether all we needed to is to rent some ladders and electric trimmers but it's a daunting task. It's bigger than the both of us. :eek: :D

Thanks for all help...
BV



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Mord

macrumors G4
Aug 24, 2003
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I have ivy growing in my garden which got a tad out of controll, we had to cut out 2'/3 of it's main root and replace it with bluetack, then place two thick cables ties over duct tape around it, now it stays about the same size.
 

Blue Velvet

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Applespider said:
I'm no plant expert but it might be a rhododendron which might give you a clue on how to cut it back. I seem to recall though that they have enormous roots so can be difficult to control.

I've never seen flowers on it although that doesn't mean much judging by the Wikipedia link. A colleague of mine thought it sounded like a laurel bush but he hadn't seen the pictures.

This is what it looks like from inside. A bit spooky...

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dcv

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May 24, 2005
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It looks familiar... was going to suggest it might be a variety of Laurel but I really know nothing about plants.




I hear it's pretty hardy :D (sorry) :eek:
 

Blue Velvet

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Applespider said:
This cherry laurel looks quite similar

It does... the leaves do have serrated edges as well. A quick googling reveals that laurel bushes have to be trimmed once per year; the former resident was an old bloke who left the garden to ruin, knee-deep in rubbish and home to a fox. So that explains how the bush at the front got so huge...

After much work, the garden at the back is starting to look nice though.
 

riciad

macrumors 6502
Oct 10, 2005
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Get it under control quick or you'll have to get a parking permit for it by the looks of the side view.
 

toontra

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Feb 6, 2003
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If it is a variety of laurel (cherry or common), which I also think it is, then the book says it can be pruned hard back to old wood in March or April.

Personally I think it could be pruned as hard as you like any time between now and next April with 90% chance of full recovery - these things are very resilient! The benefit of doing it now is there won't be anything nesting there. Also, as a fellow Islington resident, I'm sure the neighbours would appreciate a clear walk along the pavement ;)

In terms of how, I'd get yourself some secetaurs and a saw. Start with the secetaurs from the outside till you reveal the larger stems/branches nearer the middle. Saw these off at the height you want it to start re-growing from - around 4' from the ground maybe?

If you bag up the debris and leave the bags open Islington council will take it away on the organic recycling day (Thursday for me).
 

Blue Velvet

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toontra said:
Personally I think it could be pruned as hard as you like any time between now and next April with 90% chance of full recovery - these things are very resilient!

Given the size and height of it, do you think it's something that could be done by two novices with the right tools or is it best left to a gardener/tree-surgeon? How do you get to those top bits to cut it down? Ladders and electric trimmers?
 

toontra

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Blue Velvet said:
Given the size and height of it, do you think it's something that could be done by two novices with the right tools or is it best left to a gardener/tree-surgeon? How do you get to those top bits to cut it down? Ladders and electric trimmers?
See my edit above ;)
 

toontra

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A step ladder would probably help to remove some of the smaller outer shoots higher up to begin with. If you set aside a couple of hours I'm sure you can handle it - not today though if these downpours keep up!
 

Mr. Anderson

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skunk said:
I can always send this bloke along, he just got rid of our 60' Douglas Fir:
I used to do that myself :D I still have my climbing gear and I'll occasionally tackle a tree or two...

But as for the bush, it doesn't look that bad. You should be able to prune it and cut back a significant bit. The only thing is that if it hasn't been done in a while it might not look that good when you're finished, but in the spring it will sprout all sorts of new growth so that it fills in the holes. Good luck and post some pics after you get it cut up.

D
 

Blue Velvet

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skunk said:
...our 60' Douglas Fir:




Mmmm... Douglas Firs.








Thanks for all help so far. Have got enough info now to ensure its fate... heh-heh-heh.

MR: Not just for Macs, you know. :D
 

iGav

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Mar 9, 2002
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I honestly can't believe the council haven't been in touch with your friend. about that. Seriously.

Personally considering the size of it, I'd cut it down, completely. Because once you get it cut back down to legal requirements (e.g. level with the property boundaries for a start, ;)) you're not going to have much in the way of greenery left, only bare wood.

Also, considering it's size... the roots could potentially be a cause of problems, no only to your friends property, but also her neighbours and the street, should they cause damage as a result... well it'll be expensive.

I'm stunned. I'm also surprised that her neighbour hasn't said anything yet... :eek:
 

Blue Velvet

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iGav said:
I honestly can't believe the council haven't been in touch with your friend. about that. Seriously.

Stokey... Hackney Council. Well-known for their efficiency. ;)

It was more or less like that when she moved in a year ago and she's only just got round to addressing the issue as she's had other priorities... which is one of the reasons I'm going to help her sort it out. It's a housing association property, BTW.
 

iGav

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Blue Velvet said:
Stokey... Hackney Council. Well-known for their efficiency. ;)
Oh those folks. :p My mum's house has a garden hedge that fronts onto the street, and it was only overgrown by a matter of inches from her boundary wall, and her council (Coventry) sent her a right nasty letter telling her to cut it back or else... about 4 inches overgrown, but all still nicely squared off. :rolleyes:

She also has a Cherry Laurel in the back garden that I had to lop several feet off in August, I recommend a good saw because they're a funny type of wood... very moist that makes sawing difficult.

Glancing at that Cherry Laurel, it has to be at least in the region of 14-16 feet, like most trees the wood is surprisingly heavy (I'm not being facetious by the way, the branches look reasonably thin and that's deceiving), and I suspect that you might encounter difficulties if you were to try to cut it back yourself, because many of the branches come from ground or near ground level, so they're obviously very long... and difficult to handle once you've cut them off, so you have to be careful that they don't 'timber' off into someones window. :eek: :p
 

fitinferno

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Apr 7, 2005
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Blue Velvet said:
Stokey... Hackney Council. Well-known for their efficiency. ;)

Fair enough that Hackney Council won't notice it, but is there anyway you could call the council to ask them to take care of it and imply it's a danger to the footpath and make them notice it?
 

iGav

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fitinferno said:
Fair enough that Hackney Council won't notice it, but is there anyway you could call the council to ask them to take care of it and imply it's a danger to the footpath and make them notice it?
Legally I don't think they can, unless it's really causing an obstruction... even then, they'll bill you (whoevers's name is on the council tax) for it anyway.
 

Blue Velvet

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fitinferno said:
Fair enough that Hackney Council won't notice it, but is there anyway you could call the council to ask them to take care of it and imply it's a danger to the footpath and make them notice it?

As iGav pointed out, maybe that's not such a good idea. Think either the tenant or the housing association is responsible for it although both of us would rather go the quickest route possible rather than hassle the housing association.

Confession: For a split-second this morning, I thought of posting the thread's title as 'Trimming my friend's bush' but thought better of it for some reason. :eek: :D