Shaping, thinning and sanitary pruning of viburnum

Shaping, thinning and sanitary pruning of viburnum

Viburnum is a very interesting crop in terms of pruning. It can be shaped both with a bush and with a tree, made hedges out of it, and given any shape with a haircut. But viburnum is good not only as an ornamental plant. Umbrellas of scarlet berries - a storehouse of vitamins - hang on the branches until the very frost. In order for the viburnum to always please the eye and replenish your winter stocks, you need to provide it with quality care, including proper shaping and pruning.

Does Kalina need pruning

Viburnum, although cultivated, continues to retain the properties of wild shrubs. Without care, it gives a lot of growth, overgrows with a large number of lateral branches. Every year, new shoots tend to grow into old ones, reach for the sun, flowering and fruiting goes to the tops. And the branches of the lower tier find themselves in the shade and dampness, get sick and gradually dry out. Kalina in a matter of years turns into an unsightly and barren dead wood.

It looks like viburnum in nature, without pruning

Meanwhile, with good care, viburnum is able to maintain an attractive appearance and yield for 20-25 years. Caring for viburnum is simple: regular watering, feeding twice a year and, of course, pruning. The last point is the most difficult, especially for beginners. After all, you need to know when to prune, which branches can be removed, so as not to be left without berries. In addition, there are two situations where a clear plan of action is required:

  1. You bought a seedling and do not know how to form a viburnum from scratch.
  2. You got a garden with an already adult viburnum. How to thin it out or rejuvenate it?

Well-groomed viburnum in the garden pleases the eye

If you crush or bite into a viburnum berry, you will find a seed that looks like a pink heart. So nature itself suggests for what diseases you can use these berries. Viburnum juice stimulates the heart, lowers blood pressure, and is a good anti-aging agent. But it is contraindicated in people suffering from hypotension (low blood pressure).

When to cut viburnum

Pruning is an operation that injures the plant, therefore, it is carried out during the rest period, when there is no sap flow. This phase begins after leaf fall and ends before budding in the spring. This means that you can cut the viburnum in the fall, all winter and early spring. In winter, we rarely go out to the garden, in early spring it is still damp on the site, we open the summer season when it is already warm and everything around is blooming and fragrant. Therefore, autumn may seem the best period for pruning - the best for you, but not for the viburnum.

There are three types of trimming:

  • formative;
  • thinning out;
  • sanitary.

Each one needs to be spent in its own time.

Video: caring for viburnum, shaping and pruning

What branches can be cut in autumn

Winter is ahead, and we never know in advance how much snow will fall, how cold it will be. Accordingly, we cannot predict how the viburnum will overwinter, which branches or buds will freeze, how many will be broken by the wind and heavy snow. It may turn out that you cut off half of the branches in the fall, and winter completed this process with its own methods, as a result, the whole bush was frozen out. Therefore, do not do any thinning pruning in the fall. Let the viburnum overwinter with a lush bush or tree. The branches in the total mass will protect each other from winds and cold weather.

Snow lingers on dense branches, it serves as a warm blanket, but in large quantities it can break branches that are fragile from frost

In the fall, cut only what you will not leave in any case - diseased, withered and broken branches, that is, do sanitary pruning. Dried and diseased branches can be easily distinguished from healthy ones by the bark, it is dull, wrinkled, sometimes covered with black convex dots. If you scratch with a fingernail, brown dry wood or dust will be exposed, on healthy branches under the bark there is a green moist layer - cambium.

A healthy branch has a green layer under the bark.

Cut dry branches to a healthy part, above the bud, directed outward, and not inward of the bush.

If you are shortening a branch, cut over the outer bud.

Remove broken side branches on a stump. Cover sections with a diameter of 1 cm or more with garden pitch.

Make a cut parallel to the trunk, stepping back from it about 3-5 mm

Do I need pruning in summer

In summer, Kalina needs not only sanitary, but also thinning pruning. In most cases, it concerns the growth of the current year, that is, green shoots. Cut:

  • shoots growing from the ground. The sooner you cut off excess root shoots, the more strength the viburnum will have to lay and ripen the buds of the next year;
  • spinning tops. If you cut off a branch incorrectly, left a large stump, then a whole bunch of fattening shoots oriented vertically - tops - can grow from it. They need to be removed;
  • tops damaged by pests and diseases. Viburnum is often affected by aphids, leaf beetles and powdery mildew. Both pests and pathogenic fungi settle on young and tender leaves, which, as you know, are located on the tops of branches. At the first sign, cut and burn the foci of infection - leaves with branch tips, and then treat the entire bush from parasites.

You can cut off adult branches and growths of the last year in the summer if they are broken, for example, by wind or hail.

Video: feeding, watering, spraying viburnum

Pruning in spring

In early spring, before bud break, you need to carry out all three types of pruning. As part of the sanitary, in addition to sick and broken branches, now it is necessary to remove the frozen ones. They look dry (and they are) and are cut in the same way: on a stump or over a healthy outer kidney.

An adult bush or tree needs thinning pruning, remove:

  • shoots of the second order (side branches) growing vertically upwards (tops);
  • knots growing inside the bush and down;
  • branches crossing and rubbing against each other - leave the strongest and most beautiful of them, and remove the second;
  • umbrellas left over after berries.

Video: pruning viburnum in spring

The third type of pruning, shaping, is necessary for young viburnum. You can create a bush of any shape or tree. Spring is the most suitable time for this event.

Viburnum formation by a bush

Viburnum vulgaris without any pruning grows in a bush 2-3 m high, which consists of several strong shoots-trunks. For ease of care, 5–7 powerful shoots are left in the garden and their growth is limited at the height of an outstretched hand. But there are also decorative varieties, no more than a meter high. In addition, viburnum can be cut in the form of different shapes: a ball, a hemisphere, a cube, etc.

Photo gallery: viburnum bushes

To form a bush, follow this pattern:

  1. Immediately after planting - in autumn or spring - shorten all existing shoots to 2-3 buds above the ground.
  2. In the summer of this year, with spring planting (and the future with autumn planting), young shoots will grow from the remaining buds. As soon as their length exceeds 30 cm, pinch the tops. As a result, the bush will begin to actively recover, giving root growth.
  3. Each subsequent spring, choose the strongest of the root shoots, shorten them by a third to transfer to lateral branching. Cut out the rest of the growth. Repeat this selection annually until you have formed a bush.
  4. Remove all shoots from a formed bush, and now limit the height of the main shoots only when they reach the height you need. When doing pruning, keep in mind that viburnum bears fruit on annual growths.

The cut shoots and tops are highlighted in green on the diagram.

Formation of viburnum in the form of a tree

Viburnum gives root suckers, so it is more difficult to form it in the form of a tree than, for example, an apple tree or a pear.

  1. Let the young seedling take root well. Let it grow for two years without formative pruning.
  2. In the third year, from all the available shoots, choose the strongest and most direct one, remove the rest.
  3. Grow this shoot for the next 2-3 years. Cut all the lower side branches to the height of the trunk - 30–40 cm, leave the upper ones to select skeletal branches from them.
  4. When the trunk grows to one and a half meters, pinch the growing point.
  5. Form a crown that is convenient for you from the side branches of the upper tier. The main thing is that it is not thickened - apply all the rules of thinning pruning.

The arrows in the diagram indicate the view before and after trimming

Remember to regularly remove all root growth. According to numerous reviews of gardeners, the viburnum tree is fragile, the trunk is not too thick, often curved, breaks down by a strong wind. A support will help to solve this problem, but a stake or pipe standing nearby can spoil the beauty of the viburnum. In addition, such a tree is less productive than a bush. The main advantage of this method is originality. But there are varieties that do not give growth, they themselves grow into one trunk, in this case the formation of a tree is the only option.

Photo gallery: viburnum growing as a tree

Anti-aging pruning

After about 5–6 years of fruiting, no growths are formed on the oldest branches, or they are short, that is, development stops, and the yield falls. To rejuvenate the bush, cut down 1–2 of these trunk branches, and leave shoots from the growth for replacement. In this way, in 2-3 years, you can gradually and completely renew the bush. The method is very similar to the formation of a viburnum with a bush, only in this case not small and weak root suckers are removed, but the oldest trunks.

A - correct pruning of old shoots; B - incorrect pruning, hemp is left on which tops thickening the crown will grow

If you have at your disposal an old and neglected viburnum with a thickened crown, thick semi-dry and bare trunks, then cut off the entire bush at ground level and form a new one from the growth. But it happens that a young bush from an old root grows poorly and gives small fruits. This means that the viburnum has lived in this place for more than 25 years and has taken out all the nutrients that it can get from the ground. Then only uprooting and planting a new seedling in another place will help.

Kalina in the form of a tree also needs to be rejuvenated. The best way is to grow a new tree from the growth, and cut the old one. In varieties that do not give growth, old branches are rejuvenated by shortening them by a third or to lateral branching.

An old branch is trimmed to a branch pointing in the right direction

Rejuvenate the branches by shortening in turn, for 2-3 years, and not all at once.

Prune the viburnum without fear of ruining the bush. After unsuccessful pruning, it may not bear fruit for one summer, but by the next season it will recover due to overgrowth and one-year lateral growths. Traditionally, viburnum is grown in a bush, but there are also trees in one trunk. With any method of formation, it is necessary to carry out sanitary and thinning pruning.

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