shrub identification

TomoVAugust 4, 2014

Hi!

Does anybody the shrub in this photo?

I am trying to rescue this shrub growing in my backyard but I don't know what kind of plant it is. It was there when I moved in. It hasn't been watered much and so I think the yellow color of the leaves is a result of that. I haven't seen any flowers yet but there are spikes along the branches.
I live in San Francisco.

Thanks!

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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

by the thorns, looks like a citrus tree in dire need of some fertilizer, but can't see the leaves well enough. can you post a couple of leaves in close up.

p.s., do not fertilize a dry plant.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 7:19PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Citrus was my first thought too.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 9:59PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Trifoliate citrus of some sort. Not 'Flying Dragon', as the thorns are not curved. Most likely it was a grafted citrus tree of unknown variety, whose scion graft has long died, and the rootstock has take over. I would shovel prune it, and plant something you like in its place. It will never produce edible fruit.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 10:37PM
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calistoga_al

I would not give up too soon. It is probably a lemon, about 3 or more years from planting. Water it good and wait a day, then give it about 2 tablespoons of citrus labeled fertilizer. Water about once a week and give another tablespoon of fertilizer once a month, scratched into the surface of the soil. In the spring it should bloom and start to bear fruit. The fruit will take months to turn yellow and be ready to pick, but from then on you should be able to stop buying lemons. If it does not get full sun where is is, move it. Al

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:31AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

It's not a lemon, Al. Look at the leaves. Leaves of three. This is clearly trifoliate rootstock. You can see the dead scion in the middle and all the rootstock suckers coming up from the bottom of the pot. I have over 150 citrus trees on my property, over 60 different cultivars. Trust me - rootstock. Trifoliate of some sort. :-)

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:58PM
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musaboru(Inland Calif.)

If the scion still has living tissue (wood is not bone dry), you can probably revive it if you hard prune the Trifoliate branches all the way down at the base.

Should the scion never rebound, the trifoliate will have no trouble resprouting again.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:46AM
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calistoga_al

Patty your eyes are better than mine, you are right, there is a dead trunk in there. When planted it was a lemon! Now I would discard the whole thing and if you want a lemon, start over with a lemon of your choice. Al

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 10:07AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

musaboru, if you look at the interior of this tree, the scion is a dead trunk. Time to shovel prune and replant.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 1:44PM
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musaboru(Inland Calif.)

Patty, I won't give up on the scion being dead yet. It may still "resurrect" if there is still living tissue in the scion. Even if its only a tiny bit of living tissue. Scion stock sometimes consist of only a tiny bud initially.

I've had a small Fukushu almost die due to lack of water. All of the twigs were dessicated enough to snap with ease. However I noticed there was some viable scion wood left--only a few inches. One could tell by giving it a scratch on the outer cambium. I removed the trifoliate sprouts and eventually the Fukushu came back.

This post was edited by musaboru on Wed, Aug 6, 14 at 17:04

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 4:55PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Well, you'll have to prune away every bit of the trifoliate sucker growth. Then, take a look at the scion to see if there is ANY green at all. Yes, all it takes is one bud, albeit you may be waiting for years and years for the scion to develop enough to produce fruit :-) Once you've pruned off all the rootstock suckers, take another photo of the scion and let's see if we can see any green on that scion at all. There is a point where you have to simply say, "Just not gonna happen". I'm all for saving plants if you can - my yard is full of "rescues", but we all have to draw the line somewhere. Let's see if your little tree is salvageable.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 1:39PM
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