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Question about the growth habits of Rusty Blackhaw Viburnum

Posted by julia42 TX (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 30, 10 at 14:24

I have a question for those of you who are experienced with growing Rusty Blackhaw Viburnum. How easy is it to train RBV into a tree form and how long does it take? I've become enamored of the plant and would like to get one for my yard, but am unsure as to the best location for it. I have a spot that seems suited for a large shrub and another that seems suited to a small tree. I'm really fond of it as a tree, but it seems that I usually see it as a shrub. I don't really want something that will be a shrub for the next 7 years in a prominent place in the yard, but I don't want it far to the back of my yard if it will be a tree...

Thanks for your help!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Question about the growth habits of Rusty Blackhaw Viburnum

I haven't grown RBV personally, but I did look up quite a bit of information on it a couple of weeks ago (was putting together a list of potential shrubs for a common-area spot our HOA wanted to improve). It gets *really* big: as much as 30' high and 35' wide. If you want to spend a lot of time pruning it every year, you could use it as a shrub, but I personally would go for the tree shape. Hopefully someone else can tell you how long it'd take.


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RE: Question about the growth habits of Rusty Blackhaw Viburnum

As far as RBV, height depends on what source is giving the info. I've heard all kinds of different estimates...10' to 15', 15' to 20', 12' to 36', etc. My guess is, it depends on the conditions, soil, etc. But think 'slow-growing', don't expect it to grow FAST. It's not that kind of plant. Mine haven't reached anything near a maximum height, so can't say how long it would take.


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RE: Question about the growth habits of Rusty Blackhaw Viburnum

I think it'd be really nice if someone came out with compact and dwarf varieties.


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RE: Question about the growth habits of Rusty Blackhaw Viburnum

Linda, how long have you had yours? The varying reports of height are the reason I'm asking about it. There's a photo in Howard Garrett's "Plants for Houston" of a gorgeous well shaped smallish tree, but most of what I've seen seem to be pretty bushy (sometimes large) plants. I'd love a tree like that, but I don't want a 6' bush in the middle of my yard. On the other hand, it doesn't seem like it would do it justice to plant something that could turn into such a well formed tree against a fence...

I'm starting to think maybe I should pick something with a more predictable final look.


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RE: Question about the growth habits of Rusty Blackhaw Viburnum

I don't really remember exactly...I know it's been years, but my senior brain doesn't go there, as far as how many. But really, I live on a hill with caliche and limestone, so I assume they may never be real trees here. I'm happy with them if they stay nice bushes.


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RE: Question about the growth habits of Rusty Blackhaw Viburnum

Evidently there is one slightly smaller variety out, fwiw.

Here is a link that might be useful: madrone nursery's miss claudia RBV


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