Landscape Plants of the Upper Midwest

Siebold Viburnum

{Picture of Siebold Viburnum}

Plant Information

  • Plant Type: Shrub: Large
  • Scientific Name: Viburnum sieboldii Play audio of plant name
  • Family: Viburnum
  • Zone: 4
  • Plant Size: 12-15'
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Bloom Color: White
  • Habit: Oval
  • Culture:

    Very adaptable. Full sun to partial shade.

  • Notes:

    An attractive small tree or large shrub. The foliage is large and glossy, creating an overall bold texture. White flower clusters emerge in late May, producing intense red fruit changing to black in late summer borne on red pedicles which remain colorful after the fruit have been taken by birds. The foliage turns bronze in fall, and can emit an unpleasant odor after dropping in November (this is also the case with many other viburnums, but is only for a short period in late fall, and should not affect your decision to use a Viburnum in the landscape).

  • Pollination of viburnums:

    As are most viburnums, this species is self-sterile (cannot pollinate itself) and therefore requires another individual of the same species nearby for pollination and subsequent fruit display. Using clonal plants (cultivars) may be desirable where uniformity is important, but a planting of a single cultivar will bear few fruit.

  • Pruning:Pruning animation

    Structural pruning of small trees is somewhat different than with larger trees, as small trees generally do not develop strong central leaders. Thus structural pruning of these trees should focus on addressing branch defects that are prone to damage from snow or other storm-related stresses. In particular, branches with included bark and branches larger than half the diameter of the trunk should be suppressed, or if small, removed. The fundamentals of structural pruning can be found at the following websites:

    Urban Tree Foundation – Structural Pruning

    University of Florida – Structural Pruning

    If a branch needs to be removed for clearance, is damaged, or possesses a critical defect, a 3-point cut is used (see animation). First an undercut is made to prevent bark from tearing down the trunk if it remains attached to the falling limb. The branch is then "stub cut" which removes most of the branch to facilitate a clean final cut. The final cut is made just outside the branch collar, which is the swollen area between the branch and the trunk. Cuts made here will heal most readily and prevent rot from invading the main trunk of the tree, a common occurrence when branches are cut flush with the trunk.

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Landscape Plants of the Upper Midwest

Bill Hoch, Associate Professor
Montana State University

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