Should I dig up the burning bushes and replace them?


I tried to trim my burning bushes but ended up making them look awful. Now I feel like I should remove and replace them with something else. Any suggestions? I would like something substantial because I like to give the birds a place to hang out.

q should i dig up the burning bushes and replace them
  15 answers
  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jul 30, 2020

    I think it would be easier to shape this down to a small size and let it grow back. Plus, the color is a nice touch. If you decide to dig it up and replace it, I would go with something that has a bit of color.

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Jul 30, 2020

    Yes, trim them a bit more and get help doing this if you’re worried about making them look worse.

    What I do is trim a little & then stand back and squint at them to see where they need a little more.

    The Rule Of Thirds: don’t cut more than 1/3 off an given branch.

  • Annie Annie on Jul 30, 2020

    In my opinion, any thing planted besids the house, except annuals can be harmfull to foundation and drain tile. I would dig up and put a maintenance free gravel and or rock. Can add some colors as you wish to spice it up Good luck

    • Em Em on Aug 04, 2020

      Small shrubs don't have a huge root system like trees. Spaced a few feet from the foundation should not be a problem. The roots will grow along the block foundation and not be strong enough like trees and push or crack them. You just don't want to plant them against the wall.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Jul 30, 2020

    Hello. I would suggest further clippIng them a little more. They provide such pretty fall foliage. Also before we can suggest alternative types of shrubs or flowering plant materials we need to know your location to be able to suggest the proper plans that will accommodate your climate.

    Additionally for the best local professional planting advice

    I would highly suggest contacting your cooperative extension. These offices are manned by volunteer master gardeners on site there waiting to answer the communities questions that know your local situation quite well.

    Master gardeners are required to volunteer back designated hours ( plus continuing education) each year to maintain MG certification -this community outreach and education is their goal.

    If your office is closed....there Might be alternative online venues like Ask an Expert as well as emailing your local master gardeners extension office for their guidance.... in a non contact manner. Hope this helps.

  • Oliva Oliva on Jul 30, 2020

    Without knowing your location and yard size, it's difficult to offer assistance.

    Take photos, sun, shade and rain information and yard measurements to a local nursery/Master Gardener from your area. You don't want anything too close to the foundation, nor do you want something too large (suburban sized tree) that could fall on your house.

  • Betsy Betsy on Jul 31, 2020

    Hi Kari: Give the little buggers a chance to grow again. Trim them a bit to make them look decent and then leave them alone until next year. You can trim them round or square or whatever shape you like, but water them well after trimming as they are horrified at the thought of being trimmed. SOOOOOO dramatic! :) Overgrown or neglected burning bushes may need heavier pruning to rejuvenate the shrub. This is best performed in late winter or early spring before foliage forms by cutting one third of the new canes growing from around the base of the shrub to the ground level with a pruning saw or pruning shears.

    Here are a couple of sites that talk about your bushes:

    Good luck

  • Unexpected Elegance Unexpected Elegance on Jul 31, 2020

    I'm assuming the larger bushes are the ones you are talking about? Maybe just take out the one closer to the door and replace it with something a little smaller?

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Jul 31, 2020

    I would just trim them up a bit and see what happens

  • Jessica Green Jessica Green on Aug 01, 2020

    I agree with the others, just trim back. But if you do dig them up, please replant in another part of your yard, maybe further from the house along the property line. I dug up a tree in my backyard that was too close to the house. The diameter of the tree trunk was at least 3 inches. Everyone said it would die, but I replanted it and it is doing better than ever!

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Aug 01, 2020

    Hello Kari.

    Cut them all to the same height, or form them in to balls. If you can't do this by eye, use a couple of sticks and a piece of hose pipe to give you a guide.

  • Cindy Cindy on Aug 02, 2020

    Hi Kari. The root systems are still intact, right? Really the only damage done was pruning them back at the wrong time of year. It's important to wait until late winter to prune them back any more. After that only trim them in early Spring. Just making these changes should give you good results. I love a burning bush in the Fall when they change color. I love watching the birds too. I have feeders outside several windows. Is that something you would be interested in? Good luck Kari.

  • Burning bushes are gorgeous in fall, I’d keep them. I’d let them grow out a bit and re-trim, or move them to a different location.

  • Mogie Mogie on Aug 04, 2020

    I had my hubby take a chainsaw and cut down a burning bush in our front yard. There is too little color involved (i know they turn red but that is it). I would rather have a flowering and very fragrant plant out front.

    A burning bush is okay but not something that is outstanding (at least for me).

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Aug 05, 2020

    You can trim and shape them, but at the end of the day, you'll have green burning bushes for most of the season, until fall when they change. I would take them out and put in some fuller season colors, zinnias, snapdragons, pansies, what ever does well locally.

  • Kari Kari on Jan 21, 2021

    Update :

    So this is what I ended up doing so far last fall. Thank you all for your suggestions. I did replant a lot of the shrubbery in other areas of my property.