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Jean Genie

Years ago when I knew even less than what I know now , I planted a snowball bush and I didn't realise it was grafted and grew a large silver birch instead as I cut the wrong sucker off ! Well , I've just discovered a very healthy sucker from the snowball bush and as it was what I planted originally, I would really like to save it. The same thing happened a few years back but it died. This shoot looks a lot bigger and healthier so I'm hoping to rescue it. What would be the best way ? I would be very grateful for some help please..  Don't know whether to try it in water or plant with a heel or what. I think it would be deemed as a semi-ripe cutting ???  Thanks , Jean.


Viburnums are not grafted onto Silver Birch trees, so what you grew originally was a seedling in the compost.

Viburnum macrocephalum is not normally grafted on to anything, it grows well on its own roots.

If you need to then treat  it liie a half ripe cutting.

Jean Genie

Honestly Berghill it was a grafted shrub -  I had two different stems growing from it. I googled it ages ago and they are grafted at times . Before I cut it off I'll take photo if I can , I'll have to forage in the undergrowth but they are definitely growing as one.

Jean Genie

On a mission now - just took some photos on phone as the files are too big to upload and hubby isn't on hand. They are both as one without a shadow of a doubt - just hope I've got the species of tree right but all will be revealed hopefully when I post pics. This is turning into a bit of a mystery.


Yes, Viburnums are sometime grafted, but not onto Silver birch. Viburnums are grafted onto Viburnums, often V tinus. Birch is in a genus of its own, Betulaceae and Viburnums are in Caprifoliaceae, along with things like Honeysuckles, Abelia and Diervilla. They are just not compatible in any way.  The Silver birch which grew from your can only have been a seedling.


Jean Genie


he tree but I can't see it being a virburnum - its enormous ! If you could identify it for me I would be truly grateful. Here we go -

 Here is where it is joined to the tree.

 And again.

 And here is the tree.

Jean Genie

Sorry the text didn't go as planned . The pics are the sucker , the tree and the leaves from the tree. Please help - I think I'm going crazy they are definitly joined. Thanks.


Not well up on trees to be honest. but the trunk certainly is not a Viburnum


The trunk is very like a silver birch, several of which we have had felled over the yrs here. Ultimately a largish, for a suburban garden, tree, despite what everyone tells you. Not a dense canopied tree though with lovely autumn colour.

The sucker, sorry no idea. J.


The sucker definitely looks like a Viburnum, I've been out in my gardxen with the laptop to compare to my snowball tree.  What a mystery.  Do you belong to the RHS as they offer advice and identification to members for free

I don't know if this is any help Jean but my snowball bush had a low growing branch which rooted in the ground like a strawberry runner.  I then cut it off and transplanted it elsewhere in the garden and is now growing quite happily.  Not sure if you can do this with a sucker though.

Jean Genie

Hi everyone and thanks for all your help. I've been off radar all day and have only just got back - so sorry for the late post. First of all excuse the spots all over the photos - its the fat balls - messy birdies.!

Right , this is the chain of events.

About 10 years ago I ordered a snowball bush from one of the plant sites - can't remember which one but something like Suttons or Jersey Plants . The above mentioned whatever arrived complete with a label to say it had been grafted . Not understanding much about that process I had a good google and tried to make sense of it . I duly planted the snowball bush and had 2 things growing together. Being a bit daft back then I decided to cut off the sucker which I believed to be the shrub it was grafted on to and  next thing I had this tree growing in its place but years later the original sucker came back - only tiny but I did recognise it as a viburnum so I tried to root it . It died . Only discovered this shoot a few days ago and as stated it's quite strong and healthy so I'm going to try again.  It's the biggest mystery ever and I am determined to find out what is going on ! the sucker which I believe to be the original snowball bush is without a shadow of a doubt growing from that blessed tree ! Am now on a mission. 

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