Arrowwood viburnum--pruning for overgrown?

Bioteach44July 19, 2012

We are restoring our backyard wildlife habitat. The above picture is the west boundary of our yard. It has a significant amount of arrowwood viburnum, with long drooping branches that touch the ground. Is this considered overgrown? Should I consider hard pruning to restore it and encourage more growth in the spring?

The right side of this photograph (white tipped leaves) is asian bush honeysuckle that is ready to be removed. There are a few others we have marked in between as well. I was considering a witch hazel in that area maybe? or chokeberry?

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I found a Youtube video. You can search " pruning Viburnum dentatum " to see results on the net.

Here is a link that might be useful: Youtube video pruning

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 7:57AM
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Thanks for this post! Do you think using this method that I could lightly prune some of the dead undergrowth as well as some of the long, drooping branches at this time of year? I'd love for it to be about 10ft tall...but I want it to stand up, not droop! I just don't want to prune midsummer if I'll risk loosing the plants

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 9:27AM
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As long as enough foliage remains, you don't risk losing it. Does it flower well for you? Sometimes shrubs become lanky if there is not enough sunlight.

All dead should be removed. I would do that first to see what is remaining. I would then follow back to the ground the stems that are too long, and remove some completely. As the pruning video shows, don't leave bare stems sticking up. Prune them to just above some leaves.

If you are having drought, I would wait for a soaking rain before starting the pruning.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 9:33AM
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jclay321(Z6 NY)

I like my arrowwood to grow tall and act as a screen, but I do prune to about half some of the larger limbs every year. About 1-4 limbs per shrub, usually in late winter. This way they get bushier over time while I still maintain some height. Most of mine are growing in partially shade and still grow upright. Probably would be fuller and flower more if they got more sun.

Jeff, (

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 7:45PM
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Sorry for getting to this so late. Maybe OP is still around?

For all species of multi-stemmed shrubs, the all-around best treatment is occasional to yearly renewal pruning. In this type of pruning, you select for removal the oldest, stoutest and most mature "canes", which you cut at ground level or as near to ground level as you can, without dinging up the remaining more juvenile stems. By doing so, you are favoring the more vigorous younger stems, which will help with flower/fruit production in many cases, as well as helping to keep the plant a bit more manageable. This is not easy work by any means, but it will allow an older shrub to remain youthful and vigorous more or less indefinitely.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 9:26AM
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