You are here

Viburnum dilatatum

Biological Category 
Species Type 
Shrub or woody bush
NY Invasiveness Rank 
LHPrism Status 
Tier 2 - Emerging
Key Characteristics 
Leaves are opposite, rounded or oval and have a toothed, scalloped edge. The leaf surface is softly fuzzy.
Fruit are berries held upright in a flat-topped cluster that are red when ripe.

Vertical Tabs

  • Linden arrowwood is a member of the Moschatel family (Adoxaceae)
  • Linden arrow-wood is a large shrub in the Viburnum genus, native to Japan and China. Prized for its adaptability in many garden settings, its fall-ripening fruits are beloved by birds. (7)

Leaves are broad, conspicuously ribbed, oval in shape, and quite large— approximately 5 inches long. Leaves are arranged opposite one another, are simple, and have coarsely toothed leaf margins. 

Large clusters of creamy white flowers emerge in May and June. Clusters are large— 5 inches across.

Oval red fruits about ⅓ of an inch long ripen in early fall and persist on the shrub through early winter, when they are commonly eaten by birds. The fruits are held on long, greenish-brown stems in large clusters.

Introduction History 
This native of eastern Asia was brought to the United States through the horticultural trade. Although the planting and potential expansion range of this cold hardy shrub spans all 50 states, it has been officially reported as established in only seven. (3) Accounts of its naturalization in other states exist on garden forums and other non-scientific sites.
Ecology and Habitat 
Although Linden arrowwood prefers moist, freely draining soil in full sun, it is shade tolerant and can adapt to a wide variety of soils. It most commonly colonizes disturbed, woodland edges and canopy gaps. (1)
Reproduction and Phenology 
Although the reproductive potential of Linden arrowwood is under investigated, anecdotal evidences suggests the species is a prolific seeder, capable of producing over 100 seeds per plant. (5) However, like many viburnums, this species requires a nearby con-specific to cross pollinate its flowers. For this reason, fruit set is often low unless planted or established in dense aggregations. (5) Vectors include birds, small mammals and horticultural trade.
Impacts of this species 

As a relatively newly classified invasive, the ecological ramifications of Linden arrowwood are understudied. A large, quick growing, shade tolerant shrub with a high reproductive potential, the species is capable of changing the composition and density of the shrub layer in habitats it invades by out-competing other vegetation.  

Management Methods 

Biological Control
Although the viburnum leaf beetle will feed on Linden arrowwood, a handful of native American viburnums are its preferred host. (4)

Manual or Mechanical Control
Pulling / Digging Up: Pulling by hand as a control method is possible only if plants are young, and under three feet tall. Weed wrenches may be used on larger plants, although Linden arrow-wood can reach 20 feet in height. Root fragments have the potential to re-sprout. (1

Mowing: Linden arrowwood has the potential to re-sprout from any untreated cut stumps. If pursuing this method of management, cutting must be repeated throughout the growing season as new growth emerges. (1)

Girdling: Not applicable

Prescribed Fire: No information available

Prescribed Grazing: No information available

Soil Tilling: Not applicable

Mulching: Not applicable

Solarization: Not applicable

Hot Foam Spray: Not applicable

Chemical Control
The pesticide application rates and usage herein are recommendations based on research and interviews with land managers.  When considering the use of pesticides, it is your responsibility to fully understand the laws, regulations and best practices required to apply pesticides in a responsible manner.  At times, the pest you seek to treat may not be on a pesticide label, requiring a 2ee exemption from NYSDEC.  Always thoroughly read the label of any pesticide and consult the NYSDEC or a licensed pesticide applicator with questions.

Foliar Spray: A 3.75% solution of glyphosate is best utilized as a foliar spray, however, triclopyr is also effective. Always read and follow the instructions on herbicide labels. (1)

Cut Stump: Cut stump herbicide application is an effective way of managing Linden arrowwood. Shrubs should be cut in the fall, prior to fruit set. Apply a 20% solution of glyphosate to the stump to inhibit re-sprouting. (1)

Basal Bark: 25% solution of triclopyr applied July through September (1)


Stem Injection: Not applicable

Pre-Emergent Spray: Not applicable

Summary of Best Managment Practices 

General management overview and recommendation
As with any other invasive infestation complex, large stands of Linden arrowwood are best managed via a combination of mechanical and chemical means.  Small seedlings can be hand pulled or sprayed while larger shrubs must be sprayed, either with a basal bark or cut stump application, to attain good control. All managed infestations should be monitored to ensure exhaustion of the seed bank and to prevent reinvasion from nearby populations. Any new seedlings can be hand pulled or sprayed

Post treatment monitoring
Depending on the management method employed, controlled populations should be revisited throughout the growing season to monitor for re-sprouting, especially if mechanical methods such as cutting or pulling are used without herbicide application. As Linden arrowwood has a relatively long-lived seed bank of up to ten years, controlled populations known to have produced fruit should be surveilled every growing season to hand pull seedlings. 

Disposal Methods
Waste material can be chipped, burned or composted so long as management was completed prior to fruit set. Any fruit must be bagged and disposed of, and roots thoroughly dried.