Pruning Korean Spice Viburnum - Knowledgebase Question

Clifton Park, NY
Question by Coffeycup_9
July 20, 2006
My Mom has a Korean Spice Viburnum (Viburnum Carlesii) that is quite old. It is doing extremely well except that it has no shape and now blocks views from her kitchen window to the pool. I would like to trim it down and keep it down to about 6

Answer from NGA
July 20, 2006


These shrubs do not need much if any routine pruning, with the exception of removing broken or damaged branches as they occur. Pruning to keep it to a smaller than natural size will eventually ruin the natural shape of the plant. Pruning stimulates growth and "bushiness" at the site of each cut, so in some ways it is counterproductive. You can try to keep it smaller by selectively removing longer branches; cut them off deep inside the shrub. Cut just outside a side branch to avoid leaving bare stubs. Do not remove more than a quarter of the plant when you do this, if possible spread it over two or more years. Once you have achieved the desired size, maintain it by selective pruning each year. You can prune in early spring before growth begins, although this will remove flowering wood for the coming season. Alternatively you can prune right after it blooms. Ultimately, you might prefer to replace it with something that will stay at the desired smaller size naturally. There is a smaller maturing Koreanspice called Viburnum carlesii "Compactum" for example.

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