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Article: Don't Get Burned by "Burning Bush": Had no idea!

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Forum: Article: Don't Get Burned by "Burning Bush"Replies: 17, Views: 104
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Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

March 4, 2011
5:58 AM

Post #8406067

Carrie,
I had no idea that the sole baby burning bush I deliberately planted in my small yard was a bully! It hasn't grown very much at all in the last year or so (since planting) and is barely noticeable, and hasn't produced berries (that I've seen), so I'm wondering if the shade of our numerous pin oaks is keeping it at bay? I'll be keeping an eye on it in the future.
Thanks for the info!
Bev

carrielamont

carrielamont
Euless, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 4, 2011
7:30 AM

Post #8406242

Not too late to dig it up. It WILL get bigger and harder to remove and it WILL produce berries. Did you see the photo taken of them escaped as an understory shade plant in CT.? They are labeled "invasive" in VA too, they're just not illegal!

Sorry to be so vitriolic; I haven't had breakfast yet. Thanks for reading with your mind in the "open" position, Bev.

cathy4
St. Louis County, MO
(Zone 5a)

March 4, 2011
11:46 AM

Post #8406715

I had no clue, either. There are quite a few on our church property that DH and I maintain, (well, he does the hard work.) We've been cutting them back hard every spring, maybe we can start taking them out one by one so no one notices and makes a big fuss.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Euless, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 4, 2011
12:05 PM

Post #8406739

And plant natives in their place? Hi Cathy, thanks for your comment!
cathy4
St. Louis County, MO
(Zone 5a)

March 4, 2011
12:16 PM

Post #8406751

Actually, I want to plant shrubs of some kind for green year-round. I'll have to do my home work first, I love holly.
bonehead
Cedarhome, WA
(Zone 8b)

March 4, 2011
2:22 PM

Post #8406919

This is one of my favorite shrubs and I recommend it often. It starts off early spring with beautiful fresh green color, then gets pretty little flowers, the fall show is spectacular, and then there are berries for the birds all winter. It needs no pruning and forms into a nicely shaped rounded shrub without getting leggy. It is dense enough that I don't have to deal with weeds underneath it. I have no idea why folks would not like this shrub, although I recognize that it may be a regional thing. I have not had any problems with invasiveness here in the PNW. I do acknowledge that my son, a landscape architect, refers to it as "you wanna miss" this one. I guess to each his own.

adinamiti

adinamiti
Balotesti
Romania

March 4, 2011
3:11 PM

Post #8406974

Excellent article, Carrie! Thank you for so much information about the burning bush. It isn't much known here in our country, but I'm glad to know what to expect if I will ever get one.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Euless, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 4, 2011
3:28 PM

Post #8406991

Thank you, Adina.

Bonehead, what does your son dislike about this bush? Does he know something that you don't? I don't know, but when I see a map with the WHOLE EASTERN HALF of the continent overtaken by E. alatus, I don't think it's personal taste, but history, that has dictated that our invasion should precede yours. In the 1860's, when people in MA and CT were planting this newly arrived "favorite shrub," the folks in the PNW were mining for gold and forging trails.

It's already invasive in western Montana. It is coming your way. Be afraid. I am very interested to hear what your son has to say.
bonehead
Cedarhome, WA
(Zone 8b)

March 4, 2011
4:29 PM

Post #8407107

He actually dislikes the entire Euonymus species, many of which are overused in commercial landscaping, particularly the evergreen cultivars. When I asked him specifically about burning bush, he agreed that it was a nice shrub, although also overused (it is a very popular shrub for parking lot treatments, usually kept sheared into gawd-awful little blobs, which likely eliminates bird-re-seeding activity). I double checked my personal plant database to be sure we are talking about the same plant, and it is indeed indexed as E. alatus so I guess I have the culprit. I have had three mature shrubs for many years and have not seen any aggressive behavior - no seedlings popping up (we live on acreage so bird-sown seeds would likely drop somewhere on our property), nor thickets being formed. I also checked both my Sunset Western Garden Book and our regional noxious weed list - nothing of note in either. As you say, it may just be a matter of time for it to spread to the PNW, or perhaps our micro-climate offers native competition to it. Hard to say. Although I will continue to enjoy my existing burning bush, my current focus is on native plants so no more E. alatus for me.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Euless, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 4, 2011
4:59 PM

Post #8407162

Well, good luck. Please continue to monitor its spread.
bonehead
Cedarhome, WA
(Zone 8b)

March 4, 2011
5:53 PM

Post #8407251

Yes I will be aware of its invasiveness elsewhere and keep that in mind. I wish you the best of luck in your warfare -- I have my own going with blackberries and thistles. Take care.
jazzy1okc
Oklahoma City, OK

March 7, 2011
4:45 AM

Post #8411439

Yes, I am guility. I bought two of a "dwarf" variety that are now over 5 ft. tall. I deliberately flooded the one in full sun just to keep it alive last summer. Bad gardener! But, maybe they aren't such a problem here in Oklahoma because of the heavy clay and hot summers? Guess maybe I should just let them die this year and dig them out. Heaven knows I have plenty of other plants near them that would love the space.
jazzy1okc
Oklahoma City, OK

March 7, 2011
4:45 AM

Post #8411441

Yes, I am guilty. I bought two of a "dwarf" variety that are now over 5 ft. tall. I deliberately flooded the one in full sun just to keep it alive last summer. Bad gardener! But, maybe they aren't such a problem here in Oklahoma because of the heavy clay and hot summers? Guess maybe I should just let them die this year and dig them out. Heaven knows I have plenty of other plants near them that would love the space.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Euless, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 7, 2011
8:36 AM

Post #8411885

As the nurseries point out, E. alatus, will grow in nearly any soil (except boggy) - it is the evil landscapers delight! Do try to let them die. I don't remember if they are listed invasive in OK, but you can look it up on the map (please do).

carrielamont

carrielamont
Euless, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 7, 2011
8:46 AM

Post #8411906

Plus, E. alatus has escaped cultivation in Missouri, Louisiana and Kansas, and I'm not sure it cares too much about state borders.

Thanks for your contribution!
pirateradio
Waynesboro, PA

March 7, 2011
9:58 AM

Post #8412075

Thanks for the info. I had been told that these were native. I bought about 10 to fill in just behind the top of a stone retaining wall. When the thaws come, I plan to shake off the dirt and burn them. I'll probably go with something like virginia sweetspire or arrowwood instead.
pastapicker
Columbus, OH

March 7, 2011
10:54 AM

Post #8412214

It is such a shame that here in Ohio, where our natural areas are being overwhelmed by many of the invaders (burning bush, japanese honeysuckle, purple loosestrife, privet etc) that all of these are still being sold by the major nurseries-- both local and mail-order--when asked, the largest local nursery here in Columbus claimed that they are not invasive, and it is just the conservationists making a silly stink over nothing. Apparently these nurserymen never go for a walk in the local metroparks.

It must be that the natives such as viburnum are not as easy and cheap to propagate and don't add as much to their bottom line.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Euless, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 7, 2011
2:00 PM

Post #8412709

Pirate, you were told that these were native? Wow ... can you take any action against those liars, at least get your money back? What a waste of money and time and energy. I am so sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

You're right, pastapicker, but that's why they're invasive, because they have a high germination rate and no local enemies. I imagine that holds for in the nurseries too! We silly conservationists have to make whatever stink we can, and at least not BUY THEM or SPREAD THEM. My own husband just said "I don't see what the big deal is; I liked them. Why did you have to cut that one down, anyway?" Lol, I guess. It's cut.

Thank you, both of you, for your comments.

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