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Article: Sympathy for the Devil's Walkingstick, Aralia spinosa: Great plant - needs right place

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ViburnumValley

ViburnumValley
Scott County, KY
(Zone 5b)

October 31, 2008
3:05 PM

Post #5736662

Excellent article, sallyg.

This does go to show that not every plant we like can be accommodated where we want, and the value in knowing "who you're dealing with" ahead of time.

I, too, have watched my Devil's Walkingstick take liberties and migrate into surrounding territory. I was well aware that this plant has that capacity, but it was informative to see how well and how quickly it performed. This is definitely an opportunistic Devil, moving more quickly when above average moisture is present and looser root runs available. It will cover less ground when resources are scarcer (drier, heavier soils).

I have plenty of room for this plant to run. I've had it for 6-8 years. I've not seen it seed in anywhere yet, but that will be a bonus when it does since I'm after as much restoration/naturalization here as I can get.

For others with less space or concerns about keeping this plant in bounds, I'd suggest it for one of those "surrounded by pavement" positions. It also works very well as a deterrent to wayward humans that can't seem to stay on paths. I have successfully employed it in this way in park landscapes to reduce the creation of "rogue trails", under the guise of a very showy and functional native plant.

And one of these days I'll get some decent fall color shots of this species...

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

October 31, 2008
3:52 PM

Post #5736840

ViburnumValley- Thank you for your kind comment.
Thanks also for adding to the profile as one who's used the tree professionally. Your statement about it being opportunistic does fit with my experience, as well as your lack of findgingseedlings. I have only seen one in almost twenty years, but that was enough. I've sure had plenty of seedlings of other wild things from the other side of the treeline. (while it was woods and fields) What will I get now that it's 'active adult single family houses' with outrageous prices?

ViburnumValley

ViburnumValley
Scott County, KY
(Zone 5b)

October 31, 2008
4:18 PM

Post #5736941

Ouch.

Not sure you want to imagine that prospect. Depending on the quality and imagination of landscape design/contracting in the Chesapeake Bay (!), I'd venture you'll have:

Callery pears, burning bush, privet, wintercreeper, miscanthus, and maybe some lacebark elms.

Dang - sometimes the cynicism gets away on me...

ViburnumValley

ViburnumValley
Scott County, KY
(Zone 5b)

August 24, 2013
7:01 AM

Post #9639911

Hey!

Five year anniversary (well, almost) of this posting. What has development brought ye?

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

August 24, 2013
4:54 PM

Post #9640339

Five years? Wow!

As threatened, I did remove Walking Stick only to get all soft when Son of Walking stick ( inevitably) appeared. So once again I have a five year old Aralia spinosa there. The wasps and bees elected me Homeowner of the Year. My August picture this year looks nearly identical; substitute a Peanut butter shrub Clerodendrum for the ailing Japanese maple.
The suckers weren't quite so bad this year. But next year I may relocate a sucker to a place where I can more easily maintain the beast.

The development brought a nice neighbor, and not yet any worse invasive sprouts than I already had - so far. The wife greatly admired my Redbud, and I was able to gift Hubby with a sapling for a friend. Bonding through botany.

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Other Article: Sympathy for the Devil's Walkingstick, Aralia spinosa Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
A devil to watch for grampapa 0 Oct 31, 2008 10:51 AM
One of my favorite Trees MitchF 1 Oct 31, 2008 10:32 PM
Wonderful Article HollyAnnS 2 Nov 1, 2008 12:47 AM
No thanks Sundownr 1 Nov 1, 2008 11:55 AM
So now I know PAMSPACE 1 Nov 4, 2008 4:07 PM


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