Return to the Trees Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Viburnum rufidulum (RBV) understory spacing

Posted by bostedo 8a tx-bp-dfw (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 27, 13 at 12:39

We're looking at a Rusty Blackhaw Viburnum (v. rufidulum) as an understory tree to cedar elm and Chinese pistache and have some questions about spacing due to the wide range of size estimates we're finding. Sounds like they typically reach around 15 ft, but can go to 30 ft.... which wouldn't work.

Does anyone know if they will tend to stick towards the lower end of their size range in understory environment? How close to the other trees can it be planted? Also, is falling fruit (mess) a problem if planted where the crown may eventually extend over a sidewalk or driveway? Any other factors we should consider? TIA


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Viburnum rufidulum (RBV) understory spacing

They are fairly slow growing and probably hard to find so a smaller plant should work for you. Some of the larger ones I've seen are about 10ft. They don't flower a lot so fruit should not be a problem. Good luck on finding one.


 o
RE: Viburnum rufidulum (RBV) understory spacing

dricha, We actually picked up a small one in our fall plant order and have it growing in a container for now. Had a couple spots in mind where a 15 ft tree would work, but not something twice that size. As with you, the few I recall seeing have been in the 10 to 15 ft range, so was surprised to find several reliable sources say they can peak at 30 ft. Guess we'll hope it stays in it's typical range as an understory... worst case we'll rehab or remove it after appreciating many years of slow growth.


 o
RE: Viburnum rufidulum (RBV) understory spacing

I have a couple growing under a huge pecan tree. They've been planted about 5 years now and they're maybe 10ft tall. Mine sucker like crazy though, so if you don't keep underneath them trimmed you'll end up with a thicket.


 o
RE: Viburnum rufidulum (RBV) understory spacing

Alabamatreehugger, Thanks for the warning about suckering. Am considering a spot where this shouldn't be too hard to deal with. Just curious how far from the main trunk are yours suckering? Also, how tall were they when you planted them?


 o
RE: Viburnum rufidulum (RBV) understory spacing

Mine sucker out about 5-6ft from the main stem. I think they were about 12-18" when I planted them. Unfortunately mine don't produce berries because I think both plants are clones of one plant, and there are no other wild ones growing around here. Two separate seed grown plants are needed for fruit production.


 o
RE: Viburnum rufidulum (RBV) understory spacing

Wasn't clear from other sources that they sucker that far out from the base - good to know. Thanks!

Using your average of ~1.5 ft of growth per year, looks like we shouldn't have any concerns about size for at least a decade... if ever.

Not aware of any others growing near by, so not expecting fruit. Though hoping there's one stashed away in a neighborhood back yard or park space.


 o
RE: Viburnum rufidulum (RBV) understory spacing

on any plant...

they can be planted inches apart ...

spacing is more an issue of what you want to accomplish.. and how fast.. and your budget ....

as compared to any given necessity of a given plant...

this would be a general rule.. as i am not familiar with the plant you ask about ...

ken


 o
RE: Viburnum rufidulum (RBV) understory spacing

Ken, Realize there are a lot of options and considerations on spacing. Would like a more natural/wildscape look, but are somewhat constrained by the symmetry of the tree placements we inherited. I was mainly wondering if anyone had experiences with understory placements of RBV that worked well OR poorly in fairly traditional urban landscapes.

For example, we were given the following dogwood (Cornus florida) as a seedling and planted it as an understory to our Shumard and neighbor's live oak thinking it would never amount to much in our alkaline clay this far west of its native range. It's actually turned into a very nice little tree that performs exceptionally well as long as I remember to give it a bit of additional water during the dry August heat. It has held at around 8 ft tall for the past five years, so the 13 ft spacing from the Shumard should be fine for many more years. However, while 13 ft can work, I'd recommend trying for at least 15 ft if someone were to ask today.


 o
RE: Viburnum rufidulum (RBV) understory spacing

I've seen some in the understory in the wild, and they simply conform to whatever space they are given.

I've also seen a few grown freestanding as landscaping espaliers and they seemed to top out under 20'...

Keep in mind that the max sizes given for ANY plant are rarely reached - as those are essentially for genetic giants under optimal conditions. I mean, the max height for a human is probably around ~8', but most are still under 6'.

I'd say to go for it as Rusty Blackhaws are some cool, native edible shrubs!

Here is a link that might be useful: Rusty Blackhaw


 o
RE: Viburnum rufidulum (RBV) understory spacing

I've seen some in the understory in the wild, and they simply conform to whatever space they are given.

First noticed this with aquarium fish, though not all seem to be able to adapt this way. So appreciate the confirmation you've seen this in the wild with RBV. Imagine there's an obscure term (or two) for this ability for some plants and animals to "dwarf" themselves based on their environment.


 o
RE: Viburnum rufidulum (RBV) understory spacing

It blooms nicely here, enough that I noticed it while driving in the spring. The flowers were large, I need to go back and take cuttings.
 photo DSCF4136.jpg
 photo DSCF4134.jpg


 o
RE: Viburnum rufidulum (RBV) understory spacing

fairfield8619: Yes, those are very nice. Do remember seeing viburnum in bloom on TX-34 somewhere between Ennis and Kaufman when we used to make that drive. But never got close (or slow) enough to tell if they were rusty blackhaw, arrowwood, or one of the other native viburnums. Seems the flowers were big like these, so maybe they were RBV.


 o
RE: Viburnum rufidulum (RBV) understory spacing

They bloom heavily here so much that this one stood out with the big flowers. Maybe there might be some suckers I could dig up instead of taking cuttings.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Trees Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here