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What's Up With Burning Bush?

In 2020 we first unveiled on our new Burning Bush Billboard, with help from Lamar.  Now, we continue to partner with local Soil & Water Conservation Districts to encourage you to breakup with your Burning Bush.  Special thanks to the Dubois County REC Operation Round Up community grant program for funding our 2021 Dubois County billboards.


Wondering what's wrong with Burning Bush?  Scroll down to find out! 

(Header photo: Burning bush infesting an entire forest understory, photo by Ron Rathfon.)


What is Burning Bush?

Burning Bush, also called Winged Burning Bush or Euonymus alatus, is a shrub popular in landscaping. 


It is widely planted and gets its name for its brilliant red fall foliage.  


But, this popular plant is not native to Indiana, and was brought to the US from northeast Asia.

Identify, Control, & Report!

Learn more about burning bush, view photos, and report wild populations at  ​

For a great handout on identifying and controlling burning bush, click on the handout to the right.


Why Shouldn't I Plant It?

While attractive, Burning Bush is actually an invasive species, joining the ranks of other more well-known invasives like Honeysuckle, Autumn Olive, and Multiflora Rose.

Birds spread the seeds of Burning Bush from landscaped yards to natural areas.  There the plants grow into large and dense thickets, spreading via root suckers and new seeds, eventually outcompeting native plants for space and light. Burning Bush invades a variety of habitats, even heavily shaded woodlands. 


Overtime, this spread degrades wildlife habitat as animals lose the native plants they rely on for food and shelter. 

An easy way to help slow the spread of burning bush is to remove them from our landscaping!

Learn more about Indiana Invasive Plants:

What About Native Alternatives?

While there are many non-invasive alternatives to using burning bush, many people are opting to replace them with native landscape shrubs.

Native plants are not only beautiful, but also benefit birds and other wildlife.  Unlike non-native species, these plants support multiple pollinators and insects, providing food for Indiana birds.  

Unlike invasives, if native plants spread from your yard to nearby natural areas, they don't harm the ecosystems.

For our top alterNATIVES to Burning Bush, click on the handout to the right (or Contact Us for hard copies).  

For more information on native plants, visit the Indiana Native Plant Society.
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