One of last year’s MG series was about shrub pruning. There are two pruning types: 1) rejuvenation and 2) renewal. If you would like to learn the details on how to do the pruning, click here.
In my back garden beds there is an Arrowwod Viburnum shrub.
Arrowwood Viburnum dentatum, is a small shrub that reaches, on average a height and width of 10′ tall x 8′ wide. Flowers are creamy white flowers in broad, flat clusters and in late spring; small, dark blue fruits in flat clusters in late summer; summer foliage is crisp and dark green; autum color is red with varied intensity. It grows in either full sun to partial shade; moist, well-drained soil is best, but can tolerate wet sites and some dryness as well; prefers a slightly acid soil.
It’s been in our back garden for over 10 years, but about two years ago it was apparent it was under great stress. It was time to do a renewal pruning technique where 1/3 of the existing branches are removed, shown below
This technique helped, but it became clear the following summer that a more drastic pruning was needed to get this Viburnum healthy once again. Rejuvenation pruning was next where you take all the branches down to 6″.
Here’s how the viburnum looked after following this technique…
All the branches were cut down to approximately 6″ on April 3rd. Many of the branches died completely before I did the rejuvenated pruning.
Two months later she is really making a comeback!
That’s her in the middle, she has tripled her branches. All the branching here is new wood (less than one year old) but by next year these branches will become more woody (more than 1 year old) and grow stronger.
It’s been raining so hard I have’t been able to keep up with the weeds! As I was in the back garden today weeding I noticed something odd on her…..and real ugly!
She was completely covered in aphids, uuuuggghhh! I mean she was infested with them. This is a big sign plant is under great stress. Since I don’t use chemical unless absolutely the last resort, the best way to get rid of aphids is with a strong stream of water. It’s mean, but it rips their body right off the plant leaving their feet. Ah, who cares. Peta better not come after me! They are all gone, and I will keep a watchful eye on this youngin until she’s much stronger.
The rejuvenation pruning was also used to bring back an unhealthy plant to new life. But there’s another reason I use this method too…..to contain plant size.
This Spirea can grow to 3″tall, but I want to contain it’s size for this area. This is as large as I want the Spirea to get because it encroaches on the other plants space. When plants are this close together diseases are more prevalent. Air movement is needed.
After blooming it was sheared down to about 6 to 8″ using pruning shears, or you could use clippers. Here’s how it looks now after regrowing..
It will take about 4 years for the spirea to reach the size it was before and will fill in nicely until then.