We went away for the weekend to join a friend in her birthday celebration. Everywhere we went we saw brilliant burning bushes, Euonymus alatus. It is easy to understand the popularity of this shrub. It is dependable and long lived, tolerant of many soils and able to grow in sun or shade, as well as having desirable fall color. However, it is an invasive plant, native to Asia, able to crowd and shade out many other plants. Because birds feed on its fruits the shrub gets spread over a wide area. It should not be sold in a nursery and those who own it should consider replacing it with a non-invasive plant that will give you the same color.
Early this summer I planted a Sourwood tree, Oxydendrom. It is native to the eastern and southeatern US. I bought it at Nasami Farm in Whately, a nursery run by the New England Wildflower Society that specializes in native trees, shrubs and perennials. I chose it because of the promised fall color; and it has delivered, a glory early in the morning when the sun shines through the foliage.
I already have high bush blueberries growing in the garden and I think their autumnal shades are just as beautiful as the burning bush. And I have the benefit of all those luscious and nutritious berries. Blue berries are a wonderful shrub. Mine are over 20 years old and have had no problems with pests or disease. Though they require little care beyond pruning out deadwood they are still producing good crops. Because blueberries need cross pollination I have planted Atlantic, Blueray, Bluecrop, and Herbert. My season is long and prolific.
When adding new plants to the garden think about fall color, but think beyond the burning bush.