The picture of the forest floor covered with burning bush looks just like it is in the Missouri Ozark mountains. The forest is losing it's character as the natives are being pushed out by burning bush, Japanese honeysuckle, vinca, euonymus, Bartlet pear and wisteria. Just in the 30 years between my hiking trips, I experienced a very different ecosystem. It is sad and troubling.
As this is not just the problem of individual states but the entire country, I think that the USDA needs to develop an aggressive program. I hope that something can be done so that these thugs can be eradicated. Do you think we could have a bounty program that pays for so many pounds of ...(name your thug)..? I would donate to that!
I say that because for the 12 years that I lived in Missouri, I saw folks going into the woods harvesting ginger, mushrooms, and walnuts. To fill a truck bed full, a family would spend a day in the woods and get $100 worth of walnuts. I think the folks would need an incentive like that to get this job done, and I think that it would take all of us to do it.
Even if New England states no longer allow any more E.A. imports, our wonderful highway builders do not seem to have heard that (or maybe they were the cause of it!). Many entrance/exit ramps from I-91 and I-95 are planted with multiple "burning bushes". Granted, they do look spectacular for about two weeks in the fall, but...
I know, I know. Thank goodness they don't plant new Norway maples on the street any more; unfortunately they've replaced them with Bradford pears! The street & hiway tees dept. is definitely behind the ball on this one.
Juneybug, those native plants you mentioned that people would collect to sell ... part of the problem is over-harvesting, at least with wild ginger I know it is. Maybe with should put those starving deer herds together with burning bush and see who lives ... but we'd need a very big cage, lol. On the other hand, I think it was over-harvesting in Asia that made American ginger so desirable in Asia. That's my fuzzy recollection of what I read.,
Like Kelli on Monday, the places I played as a kid were already so altered that I can't imagine New England without honeysuckle, for instance. The plants in my yard right now are ALL RELATIVE NEWCOMERS. (Some, like lawn grass, are not exactly invasive, but they weren't my idea!) We haven't planted any invasives but I'm sure the people who built the house in 1950 were guided by their landscapers to plant burning bush, that wild invasive rose I can't remember the name of, pokeberry, etc.
I missed the dramatic fall color when I moved south. I intentionally planted a burning bush here because a nurseryman told me it would put on a dramatic autumn display even this far south... It did not color up as advertised in this climate and did not fare well in our summer heat so it was yanked out in its second year. I see now that is one failed garden plan I can feel good about.
I am trying to appreciate and build on the innate beauty of this place, rather than force it into an image I have in my mind. Things are working out much better in the garden with that approach. I suspect attempting to make the place we occupy look like a place we love or are comfortable and familiar with plays a part in our use of potentially invasive plants. My wife tells me, if I miss seeing intense red in the fall landscape so much, I can always go gaze nostalgically at the poison ivy in our woodland. That is the one native that does turn a very bright red in cool weather. lol. No wonder southerners donít have a fond association with autumn red. (Jim)
It was sad to read this article. Invasive plants and animals and that includes too many over-breeding humans are upsetting and ruining ecosystems everywhere. This is not your grandparents planet anymore.
I was surprised too that Euonymous alatus is so invasive in the East. In California I have two of them and have not had one seedling take root in over 20 years, so it apparently likes a different climate than mine for reproducing, though they do produce berries.
Did you consider my point about birds? They are currently doing studies to see whether the enzymes in the avian digestive tract aids in germination. And I'm surprised that CA let them in in the first place! Maybe they need more moisture than your climate can provide.
Yes, it is scary and sad. Thanks for your comment.
We have lived in our house for almost 20 years. A Burning Bush was planted next to the garage before we bought the house. I had never dealt with it before. I am FOREVER either pulling out seedlings or snipping them back. There are several of the shurbs throughout our neighborhood including a "wall" of it at the elementary school and a stand of it as landscaping in front of the public works building. I'll admit that the huge swath of it at the school is beautiful in the fall but it definitely needs to be monitored and managed.
Carrie, I think I will try oak-leaf hydrangea before I give up on having strong autumn red. (It is a native.) There is naturally lots of golden yellow and purplish/red fall foliage here. There is even stunning copper/salmon foliage on all our rabbiteye blueberries. I've planted more of those just to enjoy their fall color. It isn't like I'm deprived of fall color. They just aren't the colors with a familiar resonance. Thanks for the suggestions. (Jim)
Sunflower, I feel your pain. My worry is all those yummy berries in the digestive tracts of all those travelling birds ... who knows where the (prepared by digestive juices) seeds will end up next? Sigh. And the folks on the West Coast (I mean WA, OR, CA) have NO IDEA. Sigh. With your BB, you can try just cutting it down over and over until it runs out of strength; then pulling up the roots (maybe a year later) shouldn't be too hard and planting something else.
Jim, it's wonderful if you've managed to find a combination of local colors to fill in for what you're missing. Sugar maples (that's what gives the bright crimson up here) is losing ground rapidly to Norway maple (yellowish brown), another invader, so even "fall foliage" isn't what it used to be.