Sick Viburnums! Can't figure out what is wrong.

ErikaO70May 22, 2013

Very sad here, I hope someone can help me figure out what is wrong with these plants! I have two types of viburnums that are having problems.

The first is a Korean Spice Viburnum. I have two of these, each situated right smack in the center of my foundation planting between two windows on each side of my front door (typical colonial style house). They were planted probably 8 years ago and have been wonderful ever since. Until now. See the first 3 pictures. I can't tell if this is an insect (can't see any evidence) or disease. I'm worried I may have to replace them, poor guys. Then I have to wonder what to replace them with.

The second are two Wentworth viburnums planted at the tree line where my lawn ends. Second 3 pictures. They look like they are being decimated by some sort of insect.

If anyone has an idea what might be going on I'd really appreciate it.

(note... doing my best posting pictures, it seems I can only do one each post, so I'll post each separately)

This post was edited by ErikaO70 on Wed, May 22, 13 at 7:05

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ErikaO70

Korean Spice Viburnum close up

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 6:58AM
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ErikaO70

Korean Spice Viburnum 2nd close up

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 7:00AM
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ErikaO70

Wentworth Viburnum

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 7:01AM
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ErikaO70

Wentworth Close up

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 7:02AM
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ErikaO70

Wentworth 2nd close up

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 7:03AM
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diggingthedirt

I would definitely call my county extension service office, or email them these photos - this looks really serious.

I'm sorry I don't know what the problem is, but gardeners in some areas have experienced serious problems with viburnums (not all types) in recent years. I wish I could find the references for this, but a quick google search (and a search of this forum) didn't turn anything up.

I heard a local extension office person on the radio yesterday saying that it's an awful year for fungal diseases, because drought stress combined with long periods of cold damp weather has made a lot of plants more susceptible than normal. Could be something like that, or some other viburnum-specific disease. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: viburnum fact sheet, penn state

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 6:04PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I've had problems with my Korean Spice Viburnum since the year after I planted it about 6 years ago. I have two, one in more sun that has a milder problem, but one that is in more shade has about run it's course. Last year, I pruned off all the sick looking foliage and ended up giving it a severe pruning. This year it is worse than ever and all the new foliage has the same problem. So I have decided to remove it. The other Viburnum, I'm just going to leave alone this year because we have had drought conditions most of last year and weird weather this year and I'm just going to let it deal with it on it's own.

I have another problem with just a few tips of branches on a Red Wing Viburnum, that is a different looking issue. And the Oakleaf Hydrangea next to it, is now having some dying branches on that side. So I don't know what is going on with that either.

I will try to take a photo of my Korean Spice Viburnum when the weather changes a little and it is not so dark outside. It does not look the same as yours though.

Very sad, because I LOVE the fragrance of that Korean Spice and look forward to it every spring. I'm wondering if it makes sense to install another shrub of any kind in that same location.

I have a Viburnum Wentworth and (knock on wood) it looks fine and is just now starting to develop flowers.

Sorry about your Viburnums!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 6:40PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Looks like Viburnum Bacterial Leaf Spot/Blight. Remove all infected plant material and trash it. Prune to encourage air circulation or move the plant to a more open location with better circulation. Make sure these plants are not getting any fertilizer. If it's an annual problem you will need a bacteriacide containing copper.

Steve

Here is a link that might be useful: Iowa St. Hort News

This post was edited by steve_mass on Wed, May 22, 13 at 19:43

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 7:40PM
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ErikaO70

Thanks for all your responses. I don't know who is sadder. My viburnums or me! I will follow all your advice. I too love the scent of the Korean Spice. I am fearing trying to find a suitable replacement for those spots and hope it doesn't come to that. I have no idea what to put in there.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 9:24PM
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