Friday, May 04, 2007

Beware of Euonymus alatus (Burning Bush) - Cautionary Tale


What was I thinking? When I planned a foundation planting 15 years ago I made the mistake of choosing a Burning Bush for it's fall color and interesting bark. For several years I removed what I perceived were seedlings under the the bush. Actually these seedlings are appearing from an enormous fibrous root mass. I chose this plant for it's fall color and it's reputation for bug resistance. Last summer some hideous caterpillar type creatures were taking up residence. Unfortunately they were unable (or unwilling) to kill this plant. I have learned that this "landscape" plant is listed as an invasive in New Hampshire, although I see it still stocked at a local nursery. Why invasive? After ripping it out with a pickup truck and chain, I've been trying to remove any remnants of DNA in it's massive root structure. It has pushed it's roots into my lavender and my PJM. How rude. I decided that the karmically responsible solution was tossing the roots on top of an overgrown rosa floribunda (another invasive) or feeding it to the European bittersweet (Yet another invasive). We think we are so clever bringing new plants and insects into our environment We are fools. Spring is here, you will be visiting your local garden shop. If you see Euonymus, I would suggest a dose of "Round Up"