When to trim viburnum

Written by cathy c. hall
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When to trim viburnum
A viburnum in bloom! (ndrwtgg (flickr.com))

There are over 150 species of viburnum. These flowering shrubs can range from 2 to over 30 feet in height! Chances are good that your viburnum will need pruning at some time. Fortunately, pruning your bush to the size you prefer is relatively simple, no matter which species you have growing in your garden area. The trick to pruning viburnums is in the timing. Follow these pruning steps and presto! Your viburnum will amaze your neighbours with its rosy, pink blooms every summer!

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Pruning shears
  • Pruning saw

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  1. 1

    Head outdoors for viburnum pruning in early spring. Depending on your Zone, early spring will be March or April. Pruning at this time will ensure full blooms by midsummer.

  2. 2

    Examine your shrub and determine how far you want to prune back. Most viburnums will only need thinning to scale back the size and give your shrub an attractive shape.

  3. 3

    Use your pruning shears to cut a few selected branches back to one of the side branches or even the main trunk. This method encourages new growth in the interior of the bush.

  4. 4

    Prune more vigorously if your viburnum is overgrown. Use your pruning saw to cut back the branches from 6 to 12 inches off the ground. Prune before any signs of spring growth, but don't prune so early in the winter that cold temperatures could injure new growth.

  5. 5

    Prune tips once the viburnum's branches have reached about 12 inches. Tipping off will encourage fuller growth.

Tips and warnings

  • Your viburnum will look best if you check for old, weak or dead canes. Remove these branches as needed. This can be done at any time.
  • Using any saw, even a pruning saw, calls for careful attention. Watch where you place your fingers when sawing!

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