ROWLEY — Szczechowicz Landscape Services (SLS Outdoor Living) employees volunteered recently to remove the invasive plant, Burning Bush, from the trails at Dodge Reservation off Wethersfield Road.
Working with town Conservation Agent Brent Baeslack, the team cut back the plant, native of northeastern Asia that has been recognized as an invasive plant in 21 states.
“There is a lot of work to be done down there,” said Sally Steves, for SLS Outdoor Living, “so we are hoping we can help again in the future.”
Located at 421 Newburyport Tnpk. in Rowley, SLS provides landscaping services such as maintenance, landscape construction design and installation, lawn and plant health care services and irrigation.
Known for its blazing red color in the fall, Burning bush was brought to North America around 1860 as an ornamental shrub. It has been widely cultivated and planted throughout the eastern United States and Midwest. Soon after its introduction, it escaped into the wild.
Euonymus alatus is commonly known as burning bush because of its almost neon-red fall color. While this quality — combined with its low maintenance — has made the shrub an ornamental staple in suburban landscaping, it has also become far too common in the woodlands of the eastern United States, where it is recognized as an invasive species in 21 states.
Burning bush prodigiously reproduces by seed which are dispersed by birds to nearby woodland and meadows. Once established, these plants will form a dense thicket capable of outcompeting almost any native plant.
The plant is native to northeastern Asia and was brought to North America around 1860 as an ornamental shrub. It has been widely cultivated and planted throughout the eastern United States and Midwest. Soon after its introduction, it escaped into the wild and has now naturalized in over 25 states, including Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Burning bush is a woody shrub that thrives in a shady understory with well-draining soil, but it can also grow in full or part sun. Its height at maturity is typically 10-15 feet, but landscape shrubs are often pruned to be smaller. The elliptical leaves are one to two inches long and are arranged oppositely with finely toothed margins.