Viburnum in Distress

Asked April 5, 2017, 2:27 PM EDT

I have a beautiful 12 yr old, 12' high hedge of viburnum (Viburnum x rhytidophylloides 'Alleghany') which had a few shrubs start showing some signs of stress and branch dieback late last summer/fall. I inspected the plants and found some patterns of what appear to be an invasive species causing the damage (see photos below). The pattern does not seem to jive with the viburnum borer info I have researched. Can you help me determine what may be causing this stress and perhaps suggest ideas on how to manage the problem? Thanks, Dr. Bradford Unroe Louisville, KY drbunroe@gmail.com

Jefferson County Kentucky viburnum plant damage

2 Responses

Dr. Bradford,
This looks like sapsucker damage to the viburnum. These birds make the holes to feed on sap as their diet is more dependent on sap than insects. Here's a link to a university factsheet which may be helpful.

https://www.uaex.edu/publications/pdf/FSA-7561.pdf

Ric Bessin
Extension Entomologist
University of Kentucky

Hey Ric!
Thanks so much. Didn't think it was a borer. I have forwarded to Michael Dirr, U of GA horticulturalist whom is an expert on viburnum sp..

Bradford Unroe
B.S. Zoology
Miami University '84