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Hacking Away

October 16th, 2014

Yesterday I had some serious sinus issues going on from chopping leaves, mold will do that to you sometimes. I suppose I should really wear a mask, but then I probably wouldn’t do it, so… Anyways, since my throat was burning I didn’t want to add insult to injury and make leaf mulch again, so I tackled another much needed garden chore – hacking away the GINORMOUS burning bush that covers up the window in the kitchen.
shrub 1
This shrub is a menace – literally. Burning bushes are invasive and should be removed. If you think it isn’t a problem because you don’t see any seedling in your yard don’t be fooled, birds carry the berries far and wide. Here’s a great article about the invasiveness of this thug. This beast by the house grew like crazy because the chickens love to hang out under it, thus giving it huge doses of nitrogen. It grew about four feet this summer – craziness.
shrub (1)
I spent about fifteen minutes hacking it and hauling off the branches. We’ll get out the tractor and pull the stump. Now there’s a ton of sunlight streaming in my window in the kitchen, so much better than an invasive bush. Sure, burning bushes are pretty in the fall, but not pretty enough. A blueberry bush can be just as pretty if pruned properly and you can provide berries for yourself and the birds.
shrub 2
Back in Ohio we dealt with a lot of invasive plants on our property, we worked on getting rid of one plant the entire 10 years we lived there. Here in Maine we’re lucky that this shrub is the only one. It’s always nice to get rid of invasive plants, there’s no point in risking reducing natural habitat for beauty, especially when you can find better options.

Do you have any invasives growing on your property?

8 Comments to “Hacking Away”
  1. Nebraska Dave on October 16, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Susy, you made me chuckle. I could seriously hear the distain in your post about the invasive burning bush. Many folks here in Nebraska have burning bushes as part of the their yard landscapes. They don’t seem to be invasive that I can tell. I’m wondering if there’s a wild version that’s different than the one used for landscaping here. Terra Nova Gardens was covered with wild day lilies that has plagued me for the last three years. Diligence in removal each year has some what brought them under control. The bind weed however is always a nuisance. It just never totally goes away. What’s a gardener to do? Mulch and weed is always a gardener’s daily task, don’t you think?

    Have a great invasive plant eradication day.

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  2. Natalie on October 16, 2014 at 10:24 am

    I didn’t know they were invasive. They are also part of the landscaping around our house. My husband and I were just admiring ours. I will tell him. Especially if I could plant a blueberry bush in instead!

    Reply to Natalie's comment

  3. Mary Schier on October 16, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Burning bush is not considered invasive in Minnesota (yet), but it does get big and really shrubby in a not-good way. I pulled mine out a few years ago and replaced them with viburnum and serviceberry, which are natives to MN, great for birds and also really pretty additions to the yard.

    Enjoy the sun in your kitchen this winter!

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  4. Sarah on October 16, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    My mom’s been battling a huge trumpet vine for about 10 years. It took down her whole fence and spread all over the yard by the roots.

    I’m pretty paranoid about invasive stuff. I have some vines on trellises but I was careful to plant in large pots because they can be invasive around here – passion vine & wisteria. Beautiful flowers but I don’t want them pulling the roof off my house.

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  5. Lorna on October 16, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    The forsythia the previous owners planted has become the bane of my existence. I don’t know if forsythia can be classified as “invasive,” but either way it can be incredibly unruly and difficult to manage. I do enjoy seeing it in the spring of the year, in other people’s yards! but would prefer to keep it out of mine.

    We also have Japanese knotweed that snuck over from our neighbor’s yard; I don’t mind too much at this point–it makes a lovely pie in the spring of the year and we aggressively mow/control it throughout the growing season. I love edible landscaping! Most things around here need to earn their keep :)

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  6. Megan on October 16, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    I have what is called creeping bell flower that came from a neighbor’s yard and is highly invasive. Luckily it is spread via seed and not roots so it is very easy to pull but still a huge pain, especially since my neighbor just lets hers go to seed each year making it impossible to control. Oh well, I consider myself lucky because there are a lot of plants considered invasive in other climates but not in mine (japanese barberry, morning glory).

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  7. Trish on October 16, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Burning bush is invasive in Illinois, as is bush honeysuckle, which smells delightful, yes, but pushes out the native landscape which is so important for native fauna. Another potential invasive is autumn clematis, which took over my yard with shocking rapidity, and watch out for buddleia, which is a great nectar source for insects, but is also invasive. When buying buddleia, or butterfly plant at the nursery, ask for the sterile variety, which won’t produce seed that will spread everywhere.

    I have spent more than a few weekends at local nature preserves chopping down bush honeysuckle. I have noticed it in my own landscape as well.

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  8. Ann on October 18, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    I wanted to let you know that we used straight white vinegar to good effect (the burning bush is dead!) a few years ago. It was actually an accident, but we’re happy with the result. The vinegar was sprayed on the root area and that bush is gone! Thanks for the great site. I’ve enjoyed reading since you were way back in Ohio. I’m just a bit south of where you were in the Youngstown area.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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