How to Prune Tea Viburnum


Viburnum are very adaptable shrubs. Tea viburnum (Viburnum setigerum) grow up to 12 feet tall and 8 feet wide. They prefer full sun to partial shade and boast small white flowers in April to May. The flowers aren't show-stopping, but the tea viburnum is known for its gorgeous berry display. The bright red clusters are produced in the fall and are so bountiful, their weight causes the shrub's stems to bend downward. Pruning tea viburnum keeps the plant healthy and in tip-top shape.

Step 1

Prune tea viburnum lightly in the fall. This is the dormant season and pruning at this time will not adversely affect blooming or growing.

Step 2

Use a hand pruner on the smaller branches and shoots. Opt for a pruning saw for thinning out the thicker branches inside the bush.

Step 3

Cut off broken, damaged, diseased or dead branches at their base. Cut them back to healthy wood. Removing them will open up the tea viburnum to air circulation and sunlight, which help prevent disease from spreading.

Step 4

Remove unwanted stems, shoots and branches by cutting them with hand pruners at the spot where they connect with other branches. Cut at the collar, which is the thick part near the joint. Don't leave much of a stump.

Step 5

Make the tea viburnum bushier by performing heading. Pinch off or snip off the ends of the branches. Cut above a node, which is the point where stems, buds or leaves attach to the branch, with hand pruners. Another method is to pinch off the ends with your thumb and index finger.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't prune too much of the shrub each season. Make clean cuts. Don't leave ragged, torn edges.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruners
  • Gloves


  • Missouri Botanical Gardens
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden
  • Backyard Gardener
Keywords: tea viburnum, prune tea viburnum, prune bush

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than ten years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business-related topics. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Marist College.