Burning Bush

harpky(6a KY)March 6, 2006

We have removed 25 pine tree that sat under utility lines on 80 feet of the property line of our home. We need privacy and was thinking about planting burning bush and for additional privacy and screening planting redbuds, dogwoods or flowering crabapple in front of the burningh bush.

My question is how far apart to plant the burning bush in 80'.

Which would be best - redbud, dogwood, crabapple. What are the diseases, pest problems, attracting bees, june bugs etc. I should expect. Which should we stay away from?

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There are several varieties of Burning Bush (Euonymous alatus), and they each have different growth and size attributes. The species can reach 15' wide, while smaller cultivars like 'Compactus' may only get to be 5' wide. Very few diseases or insect pests will bother Burning Bush, but it can be an invasive plant, and is listed as such by some states.

It's basically the same story, size-wise, with Redbud, Dogwood and Crabapple. Different cultivars have different habits. They also have different health problems. They each have dozens and dozens of different varieties.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 6:41AM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Do you have deer? If so, avoid Euonymus (all species) and Malus (apples). Why not plant a mixed shrub border for a very long season of bloom and color. You have a huge selection to choose from: viburnums (with bloom from early to late spring), Magnolias, cotinus, kerria, aronia, Hamamelis, Corylopsis, and then mix in redbuds, etc. BTW, everything I mentioned is quite deer resistant.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 7:44AM
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I'd urge you to reconsider the burning bush, as it is listed as a "severe threat" by your state's invasive plant council. A mixed shrub border or hedgerow could be effective but deciduous shrubs and trees do not make the most effective privacy screening, either. Mix it up with some evergreen shrubs as well. A local nursery can help you with deer resistant choices.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 8:26AM
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leslies(z7 No VA)

I've only ever had species redbuds, but found them healthy and hardy. Occasionally the edges of the leaves get chomped by some kind of bug, but the damage has never been enough to hurt the tree. There are a number of disease resistant flowering crab cultivars - 'Donald Wyman' and 'Prairifire' are considered good ones. Probably most of the newer varieties stay clean. Otherwise, they get all the same problems that regular apples get - cedar apple rust, fireblight, etc., etc. I once had a chart showing disease resistance of about two dozen crab cultivars and I'll see if I can dig it up for you. Some flowering crabs have the added bonus of producing fruits that birds like to eat.

Dogwoods generally seem to be plagued by powdery mildew though I am sure there are resistant cultivars. Even the straight species though, if otherwise happy, will shrug off PM and do fine.

Consider also these possibilities for your shrubs: symphoricarpus alba, lindera benzoin, calycanthus floridus, one of the dark-leaved versions of sambucus or bridal wreath spirea (which is dense enough to be effective even in winter). Some of these are also fruit-producing shrubs. If deer aren't an issue, rhododendrons (evergreen) and physocarpus ('Diablo' maybe) are nice.

I would also suggest skipping the burning bush. In fact, this year, I have to go out and murder two very large ones in my own (new) front yard!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 1:41PM
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harpky(6a KY)

I'm new to this - so what is the problem with burning bush? What do you mean by invasive? These are seen everywhere in landscape in my area, both commercial and residential. No, there are no deer - I'm in a residential subdivision and looking for something that is very low maintenance and privacy screen to block the backyard we back up to.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 7:10AM
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Invasive means that these plants set seed which is then carried by birds to other areas. These plants are popping up in natural areas and outcompeting native plants for space. Other more famous examples of invasive plants include Kudzu, japanese honeysuckle, privet, garlic mustard.

Consider using wax myrtle instead.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kentucky's list

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 7:31AM
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Hi all. I'm new to this as well... I'm looking for something with lots of red color most of the year-round ... I've heard the term "flaming bush". Is this the same as the burning bush? Any suggestions for the smaller varieties approx. 5ft or less would be very helpful. Any info on costs? Thank you!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 10:02PM
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The only "Flaming Bush" I find referenced was Moses' shrub. There are, however, several shrubs called "Flame Bush."

Flame Bush: Calliandra californica
Mexican Flame Bush: Calliandra tweedii
Natal Flame Bush: Alberta magna
New Zealand Flame Bush: Hebe buxifolia

Google the Latin names for descriptions.

There are also quite a few shrubs with the word "Flame" in their cultivar name. Bloodtwig, Cornus sanguinea 'Winter Flame' is an example.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 7:15AM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

lowict, burning bush (Euonymus alatus) is only red in the fall--the rest of the year it's pretty unimpressive--not even any bloom. I don't know of any shrub except perhaps certain Japanese Maples that are "red" all year, but if you would accept purple, you have much greater choice--Physocarpus 'Diablo', Cotinus 'Royal Purple' or 'Velvet Cloak' (no flowers but best color when cut back yearly to a stub so you get an 8 foot flush of growth), Sambucus 'Black Beauty' and 'Black Lace'.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 7:17AM
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I definitely would suggest a mixed border of shrubs.
more interest. less likey to be done in by a killer disease than a monocultural planting. If you are looking for a red
flash in the fall, blueberries are nice add in, plus you get the berries.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 7:33AM
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bbcjraj(z5 PA)

I have a burning bush that is about 4 1/2 feet tall. I would like to move it - is that possible?

Anything special that I should do?

BTW, I know it has been listed as invasive (is it invasive in PA also? or only in the south?) I have never seen any sprouts from it, although I would have loved to have some extra to spread around. It's on the side of the house the deer don't bother, so I'm not worried about that.

Any help would be appreciated.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 3:57PM
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leslies(z7 No VA)



Becky: this shrub appears to be a problem in Pennsylvania and its neighboring states, too. Consider "moving" it to the dumpster.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 6:31PM
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Just to clarify: invasive doesn't necessarily mean invasive in YOUR yard. The birds carry the seeds and deposit them wherever. I just pulled a burning bush seedling out of my wooded area and there isn't one around for a thousand feet or so. I am also occasionally pulling out chinese privet, japanese privet and elaeagnus seedlings that come from yards down the street. Those birds really get around!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 8:08PM
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Does anyone have a photo of what a burning bush seedling looks like? I tried googling an image, but no luck.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2006 at 11:40AM
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my burning bush leaves are curling at the top of the trees and I see a number of leaves have fallen off and are on the mulch bed below. Could this be an insect? How do i treat it?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 7:47AM
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I live in the Sierra foothills of Ca, about 1300 ft elevation and I have never seen burning bushes in this area. Would they be an evergreen
In my area or deciduous?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 1:25AM
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