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Burning Bush

The exotic burning bush (Euonymous alatus) is one of the most commonly planted large shrubs. Note that even the compact forms get at least 10 feet tall -- no woody plants stop getting bigger until they die or are pruned, and pruning can spoil a specimen and stimulates more growth. While burning bush is glorious for a couple of weeks in late fall, and the winged stems are interesting after the leaves drop, it is also INVASIVE. In fact, it has been banned from commerce in several states. The one shown above in 2014 (red on left side) that I inherited in my yard is in full color display. The specimen had been planted decades earlier and was nearly 20 feet wide and close to 15 feet tall with several stems more than 3 inches in diameter. I dugout (with much effort and assistance from a chain and truck) and burned the specimen in spring 2016 and substituted nearby the equally colorful native blackhaw viburnum (V. prunifolium), which also has wonderfully colored fruit that are a wildlife favorite.

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