What are these shrubs?

Asked March 18, 2017, 11:16 PM EDT

Hi. We just bought our home. These shrubs are over grown. Not sure what they are or when they can be trimmed?! Please and thank you for your help! Maureen

Anoka County Minnesota plant identification pruning shrubs

1 Response

I hope you understand that identifying plants is very difficult even with mid-season photos. It is nearly impossible with winter photos with no leaves and no flowers.

I'll take guesses at each. In the first photo the plant could be a magnolia. You should know soon since it is about to break bud. The second could be winterberry. I am not confident about either of these guesses.

I am fairly certain that the last photo is a rhododendron.

If you have contact with the previous owners, that would be the best place to start identifying plants. Otherwise, don't prune anything now; wait until plants have leafed out (and possibly flowered) to make a proper identification. Then start your pruning program, either after bloom or next winter.

Roughly speaking, shrubs that bloom in the spring should be pruned immediately after blooming. Shrubs grown for foliage or fall bloom should be pruned in late winter (pretty much now). Here is a general reference:
http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/trees-shrubs/pruning-trees-shrubs/