Evergreen Viburnums in the Landscape

kelly922April 26, 2010

Trying to design a pretty screen for one side of our backyard (from the neighbors)...about 75' long. Along 2 of the existing sides there are forsythia bushes that were planted before we moved in...they're fine I guess but I feel like we need something with evergreen qualities along this other side - which never had anything. Right now we have a white 4-5' fence. I was thinking about mixing some evergreen viburnums against it but don't have any experience w/them at all. I've heard that V.pragense and V.rhapidophyllum both hold their leaves during the winter but can't say I've ever seen them. Can someone tell me what they look like during the winters - if they're ratty? Are they worth it or should we not invest in broad leaf evergreens there? (The area gets a lot of sun btw) I'd appreciate any feedback (or suggestions) you can give me. Thx much!

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I was just out in Idaho and saw some V. rhytidophyllum out there on the University campus. It looks very nice. They call it leather leaf viburnum. It has a dark olive drap color leaf that is almost a dark mustard on the underside. It is not shiny on eitherside.It is a nice form from those that I have seen. I've never seen it up my way, but if it survives north Idaho (that one is at least 27 years old that I know of), it would easily survive here and where you are.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 8:10PM
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Go to google maps and type in the following address:
894 s. rayburn street, moscow, id
(it is the library at the U of Idaho not a residence). As you turn the view, look for three evergreen shrubs along a tan colored concrete wall. I believe that those are among the V. Rhytidophyllums that I saw.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 8:21PM
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I have 5 Prague viburnums in various places in my yard, I like em! They do hold up well through the winter. However, deer will browse them (which is why I only have them in the backyard which is fenced), and some years rabbits/rodents may gnaw the bark, killing off a branch or 2. Prague can easily get 8-10 feet tall and wide. The other thing to note that in real cold temps, the leaves will curl up like a rhodie, but they will uncurl again as soon as the cold snap passes. Very tolerant of pruning now and then to encourage bushiness or you can take it nearly to the ground if it gets really out of hand or damaged.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 8:31PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Mix in a Holly or two if feasible. A mono-culture just invites something to go wrong. When one dies the little row of soldiers will have an empty space in their ranks.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 8:56PM
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mjsee(Zone 7b, NC)

I like mixed shrub borders for the very reason toronado 3800 noted. It's unlikely that EVERYTHING would die in a mixed shrub border. Evergreen viburnums are awesome...but so are other things. I don't know the plants in your zone well enough to suggest specific cultivars, but your local garden center (NOT a big box) should be able to come up with some great suggestions.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 8:22AM
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Thx for your help everyone!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 12:53PM
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