|Lovely forest floor or horror? - bhld.wordpress.com|
It has an advantage over native shrubs and seedlings. Like most of us, deer have their favorite foods, and they avoid burning bush like a kid offered broccoli. In one study of an infested forest, deer feces contained 17 plant species but no burning bush. This means that they are likely to thrive in areas with large deer populations such as forests and woodlands near urban areas, an expanding portion of our landscape.
|Escaping cultivation- 2013 Invasive.org|
The term "invasive species" covers a multitude of sins from kudzu (the plant that ate the south) to species such as callary pear that are just getting started. The burning bush story is still early and the threat to Missouri is presently unknown. Climate and soil types may influence its spread as well as many other factors. Like callery pear, it is spread by birds, first to adjacent urban fields, then on to more distant areas.
|Roadside invasion- Nature Conservancy|
Ironically Euonymus, roughly translated, comes from the Greek meaning "good name" or "of good repute." Much like the burning bush of Moses which refused to be consumed by the flames, E. alatus isn't likely to disappear from our woodlands without our help.
Grownative.org suggests these native species as replacements for burning bush:
Euonymus atropurpureus (Wahoo)
Shrub or small tree most often grown for its attractive red berries and reddish fall color. Small purple flowers in spring are followed by scarlet red fruit in fall which birds enjoy.
Aronia melanocarpa (Black Chokeberry)
It is hard to beat the wine red fall color and the black fruit display of this very adaptable shrub! A plant the colonizes due to its ability to sucker. Foliage is deep green and glossy all summer. Clusters of white flowers in spring form the large black fruits in the fall.
Rhus aromatica (Fragrant Sumac)
Low, irregular spreading shrub with lower branches that grow horizontally then turn up at the tips. Tends to sucker and root along stems that touch the soil, forming a dense stand. Yellow-green flowers appear before leaves emerge. Clusters of fuzzy red fruit form on female plants August-September and may persist into winter. Many birds and mammals feed on the fruit. Leaves turn bright red-purple in fall.
Rhus glabra (Smooth Sumac)
Compound leaves are shiny dark green on top and almost white on the undersides. Compact clusters of dark red, velvety berries form August-September. The brilliant red fall foliage becomes a focal point in the landscape.
Information on control is at NRCS