BYGL Mailbag - November 24, 2016: Nude VIburnums

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  I was talking to the Ohio Hosta Society the other night about Vibunum nudum (go figure) and it reminds me now during this Thanksgiving holiday time that it is time to catch up with the BYGL Mailbag and comments from bygl-alert readers. Note: If you correspond, we will not use your name and direct quotes for these Mailbag items without your permission.

  So, Viburnum nudum…if you have read and you know that this lovely native shrub is quite susceptible to viburnum leaf beetle feeding, and we presented a lively discussion relative to planting it here in Ohio, especially relative to the citation of the Cornell evaluations of V. nudum  as highly susceptible. With that in mind, just one more entry to the discussion:

   Hi Jim,

   It’s been a while but we crossed paths back in the early 1990’s while I was working at the diagnostic lab at the University of Kentucky.   I enjoy reading your Buckeye Yard and Garden articles. 

  Wanted to follow-up on your recent article on Viburnum nudum.  I helped Paul Weston conduct those susceptibility evaluations nearby here in Rochester, NY.  I have seen the populations of viburnum leaf beetles rise and fall.  For the past 5-10 years the beetles have maintained a low population.  The most susceptible shrubs that would have been killed by repeated defoliation when the beetle front first moved through can now be grown again with only incidental feeding damage.   Why?  I think you are on the right track and predators have caught up and are taking advantage of this new beetle food source.  

 In any case I have a Viburnum nudum ‘Winterthur' in my home landscape and its’ foliage is free of any viburnum leaf beetle damage.  For viburnums in Upstate NY, it is safe to be outside again!

 Brian Eshenaur

 Sr. Extension Associate

 Cornell University


VIburnum nudum fruits and foliage


Outstanding contribution, Brian. So, more food for thought (wow, speaking of which was not Thanksgiving dinner and conversation epic?).  Of course, as we discussed at that hosta meeting at Franklin Park Conservatory in central Ohio, where viburnum leaf beetle has not yet reared its ugly head capsule, where “ebb” or “equilibration” has not taken place, or where possible development of a predator and parasite cadre has not yet occurred, this does not mean that heavily planting V. nudum is recommended at this point.


Cornell logo 2


Final note: Hey, the first BYGL Reader who provides to me ( a convincing or amusing explanation of why the specific epithet for Viburnum nudum is “nudum” will receive some sort of prize.