Sunday, November 1, 2009

Taking Chances with Shrubbery

This looks like an innocent bundle of twigs - a harmless shrub! Right?

It's a Bailey Compact viburnum (Viburnum trilobum 'Bailey Compact') and it's a nice small scale viburnum with scarlet fall color and bright red berries that gets about 3 to 5 feet high and wide.  So what's the problem?

It has viburnum crown borer. 

I work at a local garden center and this was one of the pitch outs because of this insect pest.  It's a common insect on viburnum especially Viburnum opulus and Viburnum trilobum.  So why take a chance on it?  Especially since borer will spread to other viburnums once it has pupated into the adult fly.  I know I can slay this beastie because I have dealt with this borer before on these:

This is Viburnum sargentii 'Onondaga' and I managed to eliminate borer on these about two years ago. I'm armed and dangerous with permethrin already mixed and ready to go for next June's application. 

You can find out more about this pushy little pest on The Morton Arboretum's site or the University of Illinois Extension service.

I decided to risk it.  It's a lovely little viburnum, the price was right (free!) and I've conquered this issue before.  With a little perseverance I'll have a nice plant for the back border and another viburnum to add to the burgeoning collection.

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