Identify this shrub?

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Can anyone identify what type of shrub this is and what it is called? Here are two photos:
http://i42.tinypic.com/jto3t0.jpg
http://i43.tinypic.com/xgfjpx.jpg
I have several of these at a property in Eastern Pennsylvania (in Lower Bucks County). They are way too big and overgrown for where they are located on the property and I would like to cut them way back if possible. It may be the wrong time of year to do that now, and it may be that if I cut them way back it will take too long for them to recover and look half way decent.
But, if I could identify exactly what type of shrub it is, maybe I could do a little more research on how and when to trim them etc.
Thanks.
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fitzer, they are a evergreen. sadly cutting them back a lot will leave them ugly...... the interior needles are all dead and they dont recover well from severe pruning
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They are some kind of Arbor Vitae, I think. They will take a crapload of abuse. you might be able to just hack them down to size if you can live with some scraggle for a year or two.
Better yet, if you found a landscaper who needed a couple that size, they might be able to yank yours out and put some smaller ones in.
There is a local guy that has a giant shovel that transplants 20-30' trees with a minimum of fuss. Might be too close to your house to use that-- but a decent landscaper can tell you for sure.
Jim
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Agree. Definitely an arbor vitae. Given the rounded shape, I would think it could be a globe arbor vitae. The bad news is that once they are that size there it;s not practical to get them cut way back in size. The green growth is at the perimeter and it will look like hell. And from the location, I would agree they need to be cut way back, like to 50% at least. Like Jim said, they can take a lot of abuse, so when you trim them isn't critical.
The good news is that if you want to start over, nurseries are having Fall blowouts and these aren't expensive. I could get new ones, about 2ft in size for $10 -15 now in NJ.
The bad news is that if you want to put them back in the same spot, digging out the old ones is gonna be the hard part. But that is what day laborers are good at....
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On 11/14/2011 11:34 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote: ...

...
...
The really good news if that is the idea/ok, you can simply cut them back for nothing. See last para. of
<http://www.aboutarborvitae.com/pruning_arborvitae.shtml
There were several here that did that at least three times I can recall. Eventually took them out because they were simply too large a plant for the location, but they would have gone through the cycle indefinitely.
--
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...and on a somewhat related note....
I was watching Ask This Old House this weekend. Roger Cook was helping a homeowner remove an overgrown shrub.
I don't recall the name of the very alive shrub that he cut down to ground level, but his comment was "We don't have to remove the stump, it will never sprout. We'll just plant around it." He used a chain saw to cut the multi-trunked stump flush with ground level.
Why wouldn't *any* previously healthy shrub try to regenerate itself? I don't think I've ever been able to just cut something down to the ground and not have it grow back.
I recall a certain pussy willow bush that I cut back for years before I finally busted out the shovel, ax and pick and removed every last trace of the rotting stump to stop the annual regrowth.
I also recall a mimosa tree whose roots shot up lines of sprouts all over my yard even after the stump had been cut free and dragged away. I ended up having to dig up the yard and pull the entire root system to stop the sprouts.
What kind of shrub could Roger have cut back that will never sprout again?
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On 11/14/2011 2:12 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote: ...

Quite a number of shrub-like small trees are non-regenerative. Most junipers, etc., ...
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On 11/14/2011 3:10 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote: ...

No; you misunderstood me.
Whether a particular species will or won't is dependent on it's particular nature, not on the specific height. It's a genes thing, iow...
--
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See Han's post.
I think that's where I was headed as that was what I understood from Roger.
Pruning will allow new growth - both from the pruned branches and from the newly exposed interior.
Maybe it's that you need "brachpoints" for new growth, which you don't have when you cut the thick branches off at the ground.
The main reason I ask is that we are considering removing some shrubs from in front of our house and putting in a raised flower garden built with landscape blocks.
If I can just cut the shrubs down to current ground level and then bury them in a foot or so of dirt without worrying that they'll show up again in a few years, that sure would beat trying to remove all of the "stumps".
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On 11/14/2011 3:45 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote: ...

I did...he's right (and wrong at the same time). Whether that happens (regenerant from inside growth) is dependent on what the particular species is--many do, some don't.
...

Again, it depends upon what they are, specifically.
If you know (or can find that out), then the question can be answered, pretty much definitively.
However, for most woody shrubs, even those that would otherwise regenerate, it's highly likely the extra depth over their previously established depth would prevent them from coming up. You can kill a healthy tree by piling dirt up around it too much.
Otoh, other things more vine'y things like wisteria and honeysuckle, even though they may main branches that are quite sizable, have a pretty good penchant for coming up from roots as do other species of trees like willows, many of the "trashy" elms like Siberian or Chinese, etc., etc., ...
It all depends on just what the particular nature of the beastie in question is.
--
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Sorry, didn't seethis post before my last answer. dpb is right!
--
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Han
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That'll depend on the kind of shrub. Like someone said, it's the genes. Some things like wisteria or honeysuckle could come back fairly easily, others like arbor vitae won't. I know the vines are genetically far removed from arbor vitae <grin>.
--
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Han
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On 11/14/2011 6:55 PM, Han wrote: ...

Arborvitae _will_ come back from a short pruning down to the main trunk a few inches. I don't know firsthand about taking it clear to the ground but do know about the other.
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I just finished watching an episode of this old house hour, where some 3 arbor vitae were cut down to the ground by Roger using a chainsaw. He claimed they wouldn't come back. A huge rhododendron was pruned back rather severely but allowing branches to keep a leaf or so. All this was done in spring in MA. I believe the episode aired here a few days ago.
--
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Like arbor vitae varieties, tsuga varieties are often used for hedges. If you cut tsuga too far back, it will look dead for years. Perhaps it can grow back a bit eventually, but if you want to severely prune these types of bushes, you may have to be rather judicious and first prune something like every other branch. Then 1. the plant can still grow, and 2. light penetrating to the insides can stimulate new growth from branchpoints futther inside. Depending on the bush, YMMV! Ask some expert, probably best to ask more than 1 ...
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Thanks everyone. Looks like the answer is "globe arborvitae" as most suggested. I did a Google search and the images show everyone is correct and that is what I have.
Here's one excerpt that I found about pruning them:
"One of the best features of arborvitaes is their tolerance of being sheared on a regular basis, making them good candidates for formal plantings and hedges. They should be pruned in early summer (right after the new growth has fully expanded) and they can be pruned again in mid- to late-August. The key to keeping pruned arborvitaes looking good for years and years is to start early and stay after them. If you want to keep them pruned to a four foot hedge, don't wait until they are five feet and try to hold them back. Starting before they reach the desired size encourages good thick growth and strong branching."
Looks like the only realistic option for me would be to remove what I have and plant new ones. I definitely waited way too long to get around to dealing with cutting back what I have.
Ron wrote:

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On 11/14/2011 1:43 PM, Ron wrote: ...

...
Why????
Just cut them back to the ground as the link I pointed you at says and let them regenerate and then keep them trimmed at the size you want.
--
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I'm with dpb on this. You might not have much luck cutting them back to 1/2 their current size as it would leave a lot of big woody leafless branches to support. But if you cut them to the ground it will send up shoots which will look good the second year and probably be the right size in 3-4.
Just be aware that if you go to remove them, you will need to dig 3-4 deep and a foot or two bigger than the diameter of the bush. And it won't be easy digging.
Put a couple large annuals in front of the scraggly stump until it looks nice-- spend the digging time on ahr.
Jim
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On 11/14/2011 4:00 PM, Jim Elbrecht wrote:
...

...
Indeed.
They would survive the massive pruning; only as you say would be butt-ugly, however, as they would send out new growth much like a severely topped tree does.
OTOH, from a fresh start it will be essentially as if planted a new specimen in a short time.
--
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On 11/14/2011 3:47 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote: ...

Nonsense.
We cut specimens back here numerous times over some 40 years. And I'll wager the climate is far harsher and less forgiving than OP's. The only reason they're no longer here is finally got tired of doing so as they were simply too large for the space and so took them out entirely (leaving nothing in their place).
It won't take long at all for them to regenerate to quite nice small plantings and they'll have well established roots far beyond those of the new ones to boot making them far more drought tolerant, etc., etc., ...
The initial cost may not be that much, the effort to remove the old ones is likely substantial and there is really no need whatsoever if the intent is to replace them w/ the same thing.
--
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