Pruning Burning Bushes ((Euonymus alatus)

sunrisegardeningNovember 23, 2011

I am responsible for the landscaping for my church. I planted burning bushes years ago. I have had them pruned once but now they are in dire need of severe pruning. Can I rejuvenate them by cutting them to the ground now or should I have them pruned to 12"? Can I have them pruned now? I will probably have them removed the next time they need pruning. When I put them in I did not know what I know now and there are so many more wonderful shrubs available. They have been beautiful this fall and that always makes it worthwhile. I worry about cutting them all the way to the ground and that they will come back weak stemmed. I have some guys coming next week to prune them so I need to make a decision before Monday.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

we had one at dads.. that got about 12 to 15 feet tall . and started to block the driveway .... the trunk was about 8 inches thick .. we cut it to about 6 inches.. and with no insult to the root system .. it was easily 8 feet by the end of the next summer ...

i will yell ... GET RID OF THEM...

as you say.. there is so much better stuff for you to landscape with ..

besides.. it is invasive in many areas ....

ken

    Bookmark   November 24, 2011 at 8:45AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I have one. I do get a few seedlings beneath it every year.

I have seen it being invasive in western Massachusetts.

If treated as a tree, it's not too bad. Where you run into trouble with Euonymus alatus is when you prune them in ball shapes. Sooner or later you are going to run out of room.

I agree, there are a lot more nicer shrubs out there. I'm with Ken, if they're a problem, remove them.
Mike

    Bookmark   November 24, 2011 at 8:59AM
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gardengal48

I'm with Mike and Ken - if a case of removal versus severe pruning, I'd go with removal every time. Burning bush does NOT look good if hard pruned or if shaped into anything other than its natural form. If too large if left untended (my preference), then replace with any of scads of other, more size appropriate or responsive to hard pruning shrubs.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2011 at 2:41PM
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sunrisegardening

Thanks for the input. I am having them cut to 3" and will see what happens from there. As I am limited money wise I am going to try this and can have them removed next year if it doesn't work out.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 8:44PM
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smivies

Well, we won't keep you in suspense.....It won't work out.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 9:42PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

with no insult to the roots.. they will grow 6 feet.. on top of your 3 feet.. and really look horrible by next fall..

at which time.. you will see the complete wisdom of total removal ...

one does not.. in any circumstance.. top a shrub at height .... because.. well you will see soon enough..

ken

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 5:01PM
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sunrisegardening

They have been cut to 3 inches not 3 feet. I'll let you know next year.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 8:14PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

well that is better ... just understand.. you have a root mass for a 12 foot plant ....

and those roots will produce energy for a 12 foot plant... and i wont be surprised.. if it isnt near 6 feet by next year ...

please try to remember to tell us how it all works out.. late next summer ...

good luck .. you get a gold star for taking care of the church ...

ken

    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 9:13AM
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beigestonehill(z 6 /7VA)

I am with most of the advice above GET RID OF THEM!!! I worked on a property where the burning bushes have totally choked out the understory in the woods around this property here in Virginia. I went home and dug out my one burning bush on my proprty. Go with Aronia.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 9:10AM
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