Does my viburnum have sooty mold and beetles?

Asked July 12, 2020, 5:57 PM EDT

I think my viburnum american cranberry bush may have sooty mold and viburnum beetles. This mold is also on my weigela and mugo pine. Does this mold spread and how do I treat it? These shrubs are 20 years old and am wondering if shrubs have a lifespan and are more prone to insects and disease?

Hennepin County Minnesota

3 Responses

Sooty mold grows on honeydew from aphids and other sweet juices. What you picture is not that. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sooty_mold The photos are showing very old stems. The best way to rejuvenate your shrubs would be to cut those old stems down to ground level and allow the newer, younger canes to flourish. Yes, something has chewed a few holes in leaves but that is nothing to be concerned about.

Thank you for your response Barbara. I don’t think I posted adequate pictures. Can you look at these additional pictures and give me your thoughts? Thank you so much!!!

I still just see old canes that are splitting. Viburnums are very hardy shrubs and the removal of those old canes will get good for the plant. It also will give you some leaves at the lower portion of your shrub. I do some renewal pruning each year on mu viburnums to keep them full and vibrant.