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Article: Don't Get Burned by "Burning Bush": Growing conditions

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Forum: Article: Don't Get Burned by "Burning Bush"Replies: 1, Views: 8
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Hamilton, NJ
(Zone 6b)

May 14, 2012
11:48 AM

Post #9123504

Very informative article, and well written too.

It grows vigorously in two places along the swale at my property border (zone 6). These spots can be described as wet and boggy during periods of heavy rainfall and snowmelt. In one spot the neighbor has it growing 8' tall in almost full shade and clay so dense that it could be sold as yellow modeling clay. There it eventually got top-heavy and leaned over, causing most of its root mass to become up-rooted, as happens to trees growing in swamps and along waterways. However, although I wouldn't call it thriving, it continues growing "well" that way! In the other (even lower) location further down that swale, the soil is unnaturally sandy (probably due to landscaping by previous owners in order to fill the swale where it dipped too low) and that other specimen has grown to at least 10' in mostly sun without keeling over. Both specimens (even the one in almost full shade) develop bright red color

Now I must confess that I was so impressed by the adaptability, and resililience of burning bush that in 2007 I planted three of the variety 'compactus' ("dwarf") along the property borders of my girlfriend's house. One is in part shade and two are in almost full shade. All are now about 6-7' height and produce bright red color. I like them also because their foliage is has a dense lush texture. All BBs branch densely without need for pruning. If one has the space they make a uniformly dense thicket, which is useful as a privacy screen. Their natural looking habit avoids the ornamental appearance of other border screening plants such as arbor vitae.

However, it upsets me that they can invade wild unmanaged areas. Honestly, I've never discovered any volunteers springing up anywhere except directly beneath the two regular BBs, but even those are quite rare; nothing at all like with rose of sharon. And no seedlings yet beneath the three "dwarfs" at my girlfriend's place. I'll be keeping an eye on all of the BBs to see if there are birds or squirrels feeding on their berries. I don't recall ever seeing that in the past.


Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

May 14, 2012
2:31 PM

Post #9123722

It upsets me too. I haven't seen MY burning bush reproducing, but I have seen it bound back from attempts to destroy it. I believe the reports and I trust the state authorities who I don't think bother to forbid things that aren't hazardous. I mean really! They wouldn't bother!

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