Asked on Apr 28, 2012

What are they and what to do with them?

by Alex
Hi! We have a dozen of these ? , each is at least 8' tall and growing. When we moved in last year, we asked the neighbors what they were and got several different answers. (Previous owners also didn't know) The only flower (see picture) appears (I think) in the Spring and that's it. We would like to keep them under control. Any assistance, greatly appreciated.
q what are they and what to do with them, flowers, gardening
q what are they and what to do with them, flowers, gardening
  43 answers
  • Sherrie S Sherrie S on Apr 28, 2012
    Looks like my viburnum. Did it have small white flowers?

  • Rena P Rena P on Apr 28, 2012
    they look like patio trees

  • Francine P Francine P on Apr 28, 2012
    Looks like wax myrtle which is a shrub that is evergreen and commonly used in landscaping of new homes as they are disease resistant and can be shaped

  • Shelly M Shelly M on Apr 28, 2012
    This looks very similar to what I have. Someone miss labeled it because the tag said it was an azalea.

  • Vicky A Vicky A on Apr 28, 2012
    cornwall,england has hedges of this variety of laurel they make great hedges and can be pruned severly and still come back.

  • Debz M Debz M on Apr 28, 2012
    Do they turn into little red velvet looking berries? If so, I believe it may be a Cinnamon Bark Tree-Canella winterana

  • Dawn F Dawn F on Apr 28, 2012
    they look a bit like a type of laurel........You should send this on over to cisco and see what he thinks . not sure how to spell his name though

  • Cynthia S Cynthia S on Apr 28, 2012
    Privet....they get blue berries later in the season that birds eat and then make a mess with. They also spread like crazy here in California. I've also heard them called California Privet.

  • Corin B Corin B on Apr 28, 2012
    Not privet. Perhaps a male skimmia? They flower in spring, clusters of white flowers but only the female will have winter berries.

  • Kristal P Kristal P on Apr 28, 2012
    they seem to resemble Mountain Laurel.

  • Emily H Emily H on Apr 28, 2012
    Legustrum ?? I'm pretty sure I spelled that wrong, but if that is what they are, they have a beautiful dark green leaf, and will make pretty trees if you prune the bottom branches..

  • Leslie K Leslie K on Apr 28, 2012
    Keep them chopped back to the size you want for sure! looks like a Viburnum to me which make a hedge

  • Debi E Debi E on Apr 28, 2012
    I have the same ones in my front yard and they are ligustrums...

  • Helen H Helen H on Apr 28, 2012
    I vote legustrum also! I am looking at mine right outside of my window! Do your white clusters smell real sweet? I love ours, and they reproduce well by layering, but the bees swarm them when they are blooming, be careful! Helen, NC

  • Tela M Tela M on Apr 28, 2012
    I think this is Ligustrum, too. I have many in my yard and they grow like crazy - very hardy in the winter. If you let them keep growing, they will grow into trees....they make great shade trees!

  • Kathy T Kathy T on Apr 28, 2012
    Indian Hawthorne?

  • Helen H Helen H on Apr 28, 2012
    We only prune ours from the top to keep it from covering the window, it is a full shrub, that would make a great hedge and is evergreen. Looks nice, smells great--just enjoy it!

  • Patricia K Patricia K on Apr 28, 2012
    what zone are they in...

  • Mary K. P Mary K. P on Apr 28, 2012
    I don't think it's vibunum . The leaves are too thick and shiny.

  • Olga C Olga C on Apr 28, 2012
    Ligustrum, i have a row of them separating my property from the neighbors. Keep them trimmed to the height and width you need. Also, if you have holes in your shrubbery, you can stick a trimmed branch in the ground and it will root if you keep it watered. very easy evergreen to maintain.

  • Vivian S Vivian S on Apr 28, 2012
    golly, it looks like pachysandra but I never saw it grow as a bush.

  • Vivian S Vivian S on Apr 28, 2012
    I've never seen ligustrum but it looks likd a pretty little tree

  • Kelly S Kelly S on Apr 28, 2012
    looks like laurel. If it is trim away, cause it will come back. In WA it grows and grows.

  • JANE C JANE C on Apr 28, 2012
    Viburnum. Keep them trimmed. We had these in south Georgia and they grew to over 12 feet high. The bottom dies back when you let them grow that tall.

  • Teresa F Teresa F on Apr 28, 2012
    What color are the flowers; cause it almost looks like a Tea Olive. Their are many varieties; but the one I have has tiny white flowers and are very fragrant. Looks like a nice plant to have otherwise. If it starts to take over; prune it back in the Summer; that is if it blooms in the Spring.

  • Ellen H Ellen H on Apr 28, 2012
    Take a cutting to a local nursery and ask for identification. If they sell shrubs, they should know what this is.

  • Alex Alex on Apr 28, 2012
    Thanks to all for your replies. No berries. The close-up picture shows a cluster of very tiny, what look like buds, but never have flowered. A few clusters did produce tiny white 1/4" flowers. Both the flowering and non-flowering clusters only last a week or so. Taking your advice, we will visit a nursery. THANKS, again, for all your advice and suggestions.

  • Sherrie S Sherrie S on Apr 28, 2012
    I hope you post the answer Alex - we will be waiting.

  • Alex Alex on Apr 28, 2012
    Sherrie: Will do, thanks.

  • Patricia B Patricia B on Apr 28, 2012
    does the leaves turn a redish color after they bloom I have one of these in my back yard you can trim it back as much as you want new groth will come out and you can control it better I havn't cut mine back for a few yrs but am going to soon its over 12 ft tall if you trim it back it don't bloom as much

  • Marcia Neiss Marcia Neiss on Apr 28, 2012
    Looks like a Japanese variety of Azalea - Type in Azalea with pictures as a google search... surprising they haven't bloomed for you - are they getting too much shade? Check the requirements for Japanese Azalea yours looks quite healthy... You'll love them if they bloom!!! Good luck - Ammonium Sulfate should bring out blooms but check what a search says!

  • Marcia Neiss Marcia Neiss on Apr 28, 2012 This was the web page with a picture that I thought looked close to the variety of leaf...

  • Ellen H Ellen H on Apr 28, 2012
    Is it fragrant even thouugh the flowers are small? Tea olives are very fragrant and make you look around to see what's blooming, but blooms are insignificant to look at, just very fragrant. There are more popular in zones south of me (N Ala) so I'm not sure I could identify one.

  • The Blooming Gardener The Blooming Gardener on Apr 28, 2012
    It looks like Skimmia japonica "Nyman" with the whorled leaves...female, not pollinated so no berries. Just almost passes as laurel but the flowers aren't laurel's blooms, but closer to Viburnum looking, but the leaves of viburnum aren't quite so thick and waxy...ligustrum (privets) have berries, and waxy leaves (most species) but smooth margins and quite a bit smaller and not in the whorl; Tea olives ()smanthus) have tiny flowers and alternate leaves...etc, etc

  • Nancy C Nancy C on Apr 28, 2012
    Lugustrum for sure. I have 2 trees in my backyard. They are the best for Florida as they are extremely hardy, taking both the cold and heat extremely well. Unfortunately my trees stopped blooming a few years ago and I miss seeing those clusters of white flowers.

  • Mary C Mary C on Apr 29, 2012
    we do have them here in F and theymake a beautiful shade tree, full of citrus smelling flowers....and mine blooms through out the year.....the butterflys love them.....if you have one,and need shade, it would be perfect...... they grow fast too.....and they will put off a berry after blooming and the birds love these.... :)

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Apr 29, 2012
    I'd say you have ligustrum. They should have just bloomed, fragrantly so. Compare the photos here with what you have to be sure:

  • Jean M Jean M on Apr 29, 2012
    got some of that in my neighbors yard behind me along the fence; their plants have grown to about a tree size, rather than a bush size; they are taller than the fence itself...blocks out alot of light to my yard :(, and they haven't trimmed them either, even when I said I'd help them out too ;( The flower though smell very sweet though,t hat 's the good thing :)

  • Stephanie Stephanie on Apr 29, 2012
    I think it a viburnum, the only blum in the spring have a wonderful fragrance, then stay green all summer. I have a Koren spice viburnum the scent is lovely.

  • Alex Alex on Apr 29, 2012
    And the winner is..................................LIGUSTRUM THANKS TO EVERYONE

  • Sherrie S Sherrie S on Apr 29, 2012
    I just want to say that Douglas Hunt almost always has the right answer. I should not post until he does. Wonderful Alex, thank you for the posting; now we all know.

  • Francine P Francine P on May 04, 2012
    It is a ligustrum. very good shrub to shape and make into poodle bushes or hedges. remove bottom branches and cut down to the size you want. Do not remove more than 1/3 of the leaves.

  • Brenda Frazier Penland Brenda Frazier Penland on Feb 04, 2016
    Wax leaf ligustrum! Evergreen. Beautiful fragrant citrusey fragrant blooms on new growth in spring in Texas.