We have a bush at the corner of our house that is frequently a bit overgrown. I was looking at it today, and thinking that I needed to trim it, and then I saw all of the bees buzzing around the flowers. Am I better off waiting until after a certain season to trim it? I guess I'm looking to balance the ease of trimming versus still providing flowers for the bees.

Image of the bush in question

Closeup of the flowers

And, as it turns out, there is still a tag at the base of the bush. It is a Blue Muffin Vibranum.

  • 1
    Should we perhaps id the bush first? That may help in determining when would be a good time to prune (e.g. you probably don’t want to trim away next season’s bloom). And it would certainly be nice to feed the bees, pretty much no shrubs are pruned during bloom. As a rule of thumb early blooming shrubs get pruned after bloom, late blooming in early spring, but it’s better to check what plant we are talking about in this case.
    – Stephie
    Commented May 27, 2023 at 20:41
  • @Stephie Makes sense. I'll try to get a better picture tonight, but the flowers are disc clusters of small white flowers like Queen Anne's Lace, if that helps. Commented May 27, 2023 at 20:46

1 Answer 1


That looks like an arrowwood viburnum (Viburnum dentatum). It's not usually pruned because shearing it is a bad idea (it tends to look terrible afterwards and puts out lots of growth you'd rather not have) and hand-pruning is time-consuming. Yours, though, looks like it could be the species, although it could be an old cultivar and I could, of course, be mistaken in the ID.

If that were my shrub, I'd probably try to lower it by a foot or so shortly after flowering - and then lower it another foot next year. It's recommended to not remove more than a third of the branches in any year. Alternatively, you could try the 1/3 rule used with lilacs. If my ID is right, there should be suckers at the base of the shrub. If so, then you can cut some of the largest branches right to the ground - but do not take off more than 1/3 of these large branches at a time.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.