I planted a row of Moonlit Lace Viburnums in October of 2016. They survived the winter of 2016-17 just fine, but the more relentless cold of this winter caused the leaves to turn brown and drop. On two of the six plants some green leaves have appeared on bottom twigs covered by fallen leaves. Do you think they will recover and how long should I wait before removing them? Or should I cut them back? We are located in Zone 7a. The plants are on a westward facing slope that I fear subjects them to too much cold wind during the winter. So if they survive I may move them to a more protected location.
Cold Damaged Evergreen Viburnums
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
They are well suited for this type of cold. This dropping of leaves is a defense mechanism to preserve energy for when it is warmer. Pruning it will help it to recover once there is no chance of frost. This article will explain how and when to do this properly: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/shrubs/viburnum/viburnum-pruning.htm
Thank you. Per the recommendations I prune them by one third and see how they respond.