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12'+ tree or shrub with clusters of red berries

Posted by Oscarmatic USDA:10 Sunset:23 (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 7, 13 at 14:11

Hi! I'm rehabilitating a neglected pond and it's landscaping, and step one is figuring out just what it is I have to work with. Some of the landscaping predates the current owners, so we don't always have reliable information. The garden is inland San Diego, Sunset zone 23.

This is a landscaped tree or shrub growing tall in a tiny one-foot space between the fence and a wooden retaining wall. It is at least 12' tall, and possibly 8' wide. It's hard to tell if this is multiple plants, one plant with multiple trunks, or a main trunk with something else entirely growing alongside.

The bright green oval leaves are set opposite. Right now it has many clusters of bright red berries with little black dots on the ends.

(The photo below also shows the neighbor's olive trees behind.)

Follow-Up Postings:

More detail: 12'+ tree or shrub with clusters of red berries

Here is another photo showing a bit more detail.

Thanks for your help!

RE: 12'+ tree or shrub with clusters of red berries


Here is a link that might be useful: Heteromeles

RE: 12'+ tree or shrub with clusters of red berries

Would help to get a little closer but my initial thought is that its Schinus terebinthifolius - "Brazilian Pepper Tree" which sometimes get spread by birds not deliberately planted.
If I am correct then I'd be reaching for the chain-saw and the tree poison. It's a weed in warm parts of Australia

Here is a link that might be useful: broad leafed pepper tree?

RE: 12'+ tree or shrub with clusters of red berries

Schinus has compound leaves, this plant has simple leaves.

Close-up of the leaves and berries

Thanks for the suggestions so far. Toyon does look like a close match.

I cut off a bit of branch for this close-up photo of the leaves and berries. Also, while I got in there, I noticed no fewer than three separate plants growing thick within that one square foot. (That answers my question about whether this is a single-trunk variety!)

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