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Help - can I save this shrub?

HumbleBeeHumbleBee Posts: 91

As spring has come around and leaves are unfolding I have discovered that the middle (and thickest) stem of my Viburnum Plicatum Mariesii looks very dead - not a single leaf!  image  I planted this about 2-3 years ago and although it has got wider and wider it has never really gained much height (most of the height comes from this main stem which now looks dead...). At the moment it’s only about 45-50cm tall but almost 3 times as wide.

What should I do with this - should I cut out this main stem completely from the base and hope the shrub gradually recovers or should I leave it until after the rest of the shrub has flowered? Or is this a bad sign that actually the plant is dying and I would be fighting a losing battle….? Feeling gutted image

(picture below highlighting the dead stem in red)     

image   image

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