shattered00
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Identifying shrubs so I may decide how to prune

I am trying to identify these shrubs that are planted in the front yard of a house I just bought. They are quite tall and I wish to cut them down to maybe 3-4 feet (they are currently at about 7-8 feet) but I don't want them to die. Any help in identifying them and pruning suggestions? It is March in Texas if that helps regarding whether I can cut all the branches/leaves off. Thank you for any assistance.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Identifying shrubs so I may decide how to prune

I would have thought the middle one was rhododendron, but I don't think they grow in TX. So maybe you have something else that looks like it. At any rate, I think it has flower buds on it, so you don't want to prune it until after it blooms.
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catgrass
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Re: Identifying shrubs so I may decide how to prune

1st one-maybe Pittosporum. 2nd looks like oleander, but not sure. 3rd pic? Is that azaleas blooming? If so, prune after they bloom. I think you would be safe pruning them all down drastically, but they won't look too good for a year or so.
zone 9 Southwest La.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Identifying shrubs so I may decide how to prune

Oleander is a good guess. I haven't lived where oleander grows for many years, so I forgot about it. What I said is still true, don't prune it until after it blooms.
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imafan26
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Re: Identifying shrubs so I may decide how to prune

Most plants are not pruned or replanted until after they have bloomed. A rule of thumb for most things is to cut out any diseased or dead wood and crossing branches. If you are pruning a hedge and you don't want bare legs, you should taper the shape so that the top is narrower than the bottom.
https://www.finegardening.com/trimming-hedge

Those shrubs are quite over grown. I would not try to prune off more than a third of the shrub or even less. Most shrubs have no leaves at all on the inside of the plant. I would just take out what is obviously dead, disseased and crossing. Remove the straggler branches and then do some reduction pruning by only taking off a couple of inches at a time. You can always come back and cut more off, but if you take off too much it will take a long time to fix it. Every couple of weeks you can reduce a little more. Pruning and feeding after will tell you how fast the plant grows. The ones that start sprouting new leaves will quickly rejuvenate and can take a little more pruning, the ones that don't grow as fast you have to go slower.
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The e. cotonifolia (red ball), can be pruned severely and comes back in 6 weeks.  While the Indian Hawthorn hedge below it is over 30 years old and gets pruned maybe twice a year and I take off only an inch or two.  I had to cut out a lower branch that was growing out toward the driveway.  And three years later, the hole is still filling in.
The e. cotonifolia (red ball), can be pruned severely and comes back in 6 weeks. While the Indian Hawthorn hedge below it is over 30 years old and gets pruned maybe twice a year and I take off only an inch or two. I had to cut out a lower branch that was growing out toward the driveway. And three years later, the hole is still filling in.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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