Need ID help - landscape edition.
May 6, 2018 10:09 AM   Subscribe

We have these two large shrubs/small trees in front of our new house and have no idea what they are. We don't care for how they look together, so we plan to have them removed and will likely give them away. We'd like a little more information about them first, but have no landscaping experience whatsoever (first time home owners). We haven't had luck with getting any local nurseries to help consult so we thought AskMeFites may be able to advise us.
posted by Katie8709 to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Those are big enough that digging them up with enough of a root ball to be viable is going to involve moderately heavy machinery and/or considerable expense and leave large holes in your yard where they used to be, but they're also small enough that anybody who wants something like them could grow those from seedlings in under ten years or commercial saplings in under five. I think you'll find that most local landscaping businesses would advise you to fell and mulch them rather than make any attempt to relocate them alive.
posted by flabdablet at 10:23 AM on May 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

I think the first one is a holly and the other is a boxwood. They're pretty old (25+ years, based on size and our experience buying houses with similarly overgrown shrubbery), and I would feel no compulsion to keep or pass them on. They've served their purpose well.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 10:38 AM on May 6, 2018

A good close up of the bark and another of a broken of twig with leaves on a clean background would vastly improve certainty in ID. I agree it will be expensive and difficult to remove them in planting condition. Some one may offer to come take them for free.

You may get lucky by posting to a bonsai forum, including good shots of the trunks.
posted by SaltySalticid at 12:38 PM on May 6, 2018

I think they might both be hollies, the second one could be a Japanese holly which has small boxwood-like leaves.
posted by sciencegeek at 1:08 PM on May 6, 2018

Thirded on the advice to just get rid of them. Plants of that size aren't terribly useful in the urban/suburban landscape, as you realized 'cuz you decided to remove them. Incidentally, the simplest way to remove them, if you have a truck or SUV, is to water the ground well to soften the soil, wrap a chain around the shrub's trunk and attach it to the trailer hitch on the truck, then pull the truck forward and pull the shrub right out of the ground. No truck - cut them down and dig out the largest roots. An afternoon's work.

Foundation plantings shouldn't be allowed to overgrow the home, for safety as well as esthetic reasons. For that reason, shrubs by the house tend to have a 10-25 year lifespan, after which they've simply outgrown their space and need to be replaced.
posted by Lunaloon at 6:50 AM on May 7, 2018

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