Pruning Laurustinus (Viburnum Tinus)

Asked April 1, 2019, 12:26 PM EDT

We've moved into a house with a Laurustinus Viburnum Tinus that has been neglected for many, many years. There are tons of shoots growing out of the ground around the trunk perimeter for several feet, I don't believe those have blooms, just leaves. Should I get rid of those so branches are only growing out of the trunk? If so, does it matter when? Also, it has lots of dead wood, can I cut that off at any time? It is huge and just looks so messy and unkempt. Thanks so much for any help you can offer!

Clackamas County Oregon pruning

1 Response

Thank you for your question. One of the cardinal rules of pruning perennial shrubs and trees is that you can remove dead, diseased or damaged plant material any time. It's not going to get better. Without seeing a photo, I'm assuming what you are describing are suckers, which are described here: http://hyg.ipm.illinois.edu/article.php?id=993

As for massive pruning, the viburnums do well with this drastic action, which is covered in this OSU Extension article: http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/2017imgc/files/2016/03/Pfeiffer.pdf

Hope this is helpful. Good luck!