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green fingered finch

Does anyone jnow what this shrubby plant is? It hasn't done anything since we moved here in February except grown bigger and bigger. It was very straggly when we first got here. It's now about 7 or 8 feet tall and my fiancé is now bored if it and threatening to cut it down! I don't want to chop it in case its something beautiful which flowers on previous year's growth (or somesuch). Can anyone shed any light?








A cornus of some sort. You might get good autum colour. The young growth might have coloured stems in winter. If it doesn't do either of those it won't do anything else worthwhile


I don't want to frighten you gff, but it looks horribly like japanese knotweed to me! Google it and look at the images.


Looks like a cornus (dogwood) to me.  

They usually have gorgeous coloured stems in the winter when the leaves have fallen.  What you do is cut it down in the spring - right down - coppice it.  It will then grow new shoots - the new shoots have the best colour - then in the autumn when the leaves fall you'll have glorious red stems throughout the winter 

Does that make sense? 

 Like this 


green fingered finch

Thanks Dove, so it may or may not be any good. Think I will leave it until the spring and see what happens. Thank you

And I do know its NOT Jap Knotweed!


Cut it down in the spring and wait until next winter - that's when it will have lots of new brightly coloured stems 

Agree, looks very much like a dogwood i have just seen.


Definitely not Japanese Knotweed.


Agreed, most definitely not Japanese Knotweed!!  Why do people say that about plants which are nothing like it?

It may not be a cornus with good winter-coloured stems.  There are good varieties.

But totally agree, cut down to the ground in Spring.

It IS Cornus (Dogwood). Follow the advice to cut it down to a few inches in late Match so that you enjoy the colour of the stems for a long time.

green fingered finch

Thanks so much for the advice everyone. Actually the base of the plant has about a foot of shrubby looking old wood (best way I can describe it). This makes me wonder if it is a cornus, because the ones Ive seen pics of seem to have stems coming straight from the ground. If it IS a cornus, I presume I can't cut the old wood down to the ground, or can I?  Or is there anything else it could be?? 


the stems only come straight from the ground if you cut them back. Otherwise you just get mature wood which is not coloured. You can cut it back as far as you like. 

There's no doubt it's a cornus. Which one is still a question.

green fingered finch

Ahh ok, that makes sense. And If I cut the old wood back to the ground it wont die?



I shouldn't think so, theyre quite tough. The newest growth you have now will show you what colour stems you'll get if you cut them back. They look nice and redin your pic. 



Sounds as if in the past someone has been cutting it back but not far enough, so it's developed a sort of a 'trunk' of older wood - that's what the ones at work were like, as the 'groundsmen' were cutting them back but not far enough (they were also doing it in the autumn - but that's another story!!!)  Anyway, since that was noticed the site manager has insisted that they are cut right down in the spring to leave just a very short stump - looks a bit sad for a couple of weeks and then new growth starts from the stump and then in the autumn we get autumn colour in the leaves which then fall to leave amazing red stems.

Yours is definitely a cornus - be brave and cut it right back in the spring and you'll have a lovely patch of colour in the winter - post a pic of the coloured stems next winter and we can have a go at identifying which cornus you've got 


I get weed cornus popping up in the middle of other things where I don't want them. They only have boring green new stems and brown old stems. They aren't easy to dig up and when I cut them down they get more vigorous. I hope yours is a nice one and not one like mine.

green fingered finch

Thanks Nut and Dove. I will be brave and cut them right back in Spring. How exciting. I look forward to seeing what happens!

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