I have this in some landscaping that came with the house when I bought it. I have asked the neighbors and no one can tell me who the landscapers were that planted it, or what kind of shrub/tree it is.

close up of stems close up of leaves top

  • This isn't Prunus laurocerasus, and that red stem doesn't fit with Prunus varieties other than maybe P. lusitanica, but I'm not seeing the wavy edge to the leaves on that, and the leaves look too pale. What USDA zone are you in, or where are you in the world?
    – Bamboo
    Aug 9 '17 at 0:42
  • I'm in south Louisiana, zone 9a. Aug 9 '17 at 4:03
  • In that case, it might be Arbutus unedo, image below, but I'm not sure at all - do you know how long its been planted? jacksonsnurseries.co.uk/arbutus-unedo.html#/product/3054
    – Bamboo
    Aug 9 '17 at 10:48

It is a Photinia more likely the more common one available P x fraseri than P serratifolia. Often the one you'll find in most peoples gardens is variety called "Red Robin" The bottom photo gave it away as its new growth is bright red and then later in the season it slowly changes to a mid green colour, often used for hedges and is evergreen. Prunus laurocerasus has a very much larger leaf and the green colour is a light to mid green, plus the leaves are much larger, flower arrangement is also different and the branches at the base of the plant are much larger than Red Robin. Prunus lusitanica is the only other similar plant I know but again its colour is wrong and the flowers again are different- neither one has new growth that is red or red tinged- hope it helps

  • I have Photinia 'Red Robin' and this looks very similar if not the same.
    – Viv
    Aug 10 '17 at 1:03
  • After going through many images, I feel the Photinia 'Red Robin' is the correct answer. Aug 11 '17 at 16:39

This is Prunus laurocerasus or a closely related cousin. It needs to be pruned, possibly the fertilizer adjusted, the bark on top of the bed removed. This is a well used hedging shrub, a shrub that can be pruned to fit its unhappy environment to be happier. It will do just fine. Have you fertilized it ever? How long have you been it's 'steward'...grins? Is there a lawn close to this shrub where it has been getting fertilizer?

To get started I would prune the branches growing into the brick wall back to the main trunk. Use alcohol on sharpened by pass pruners first. Cut the top long leader down to the twelfth SET of leaves. There is a third little leader to the right of your picture...that is the height and do the same with that second leader on the left side. Cut just above an outside leaf.

Let us know what the fertilizer is was how long ago before messing with fertilizer. Get rid of that bark and get rid of the staking or ribbons. There is absolutely no need for that at all and will weaken your shrub for withstanding snow load?

Show me what you've pruned and I can give you feed back from there, okay?

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