Burning Bush Plants
Q.

can I salvage my burning bushes?

Zone Buffalo, NY | fimadickash added on April 4, 2015 | Answered

Can I salvage my burning bushes? Rabbits ate most of my three burning bushes this winter. They look hopeless. The only part of each bush that is left is the top. HELP. Thank you in advance.

A.
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shelley
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on April 4, 2015

How much of the bark is removed around the trunk of your bushes? Is the trunk completely girdled (bark completely removed around the trunk)? If so, the prognosis probably isn't very good and more than likely all the growth above the girdled areas will eventually die. However, if you are up for a challenge, you could try applying a bridge graft to restore the flow of nutrients in the bushes - more information on bridge grafts can be found here:
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/tgen/how-to-fix-girdled-trees.htm

If you believe the bushes are salvageable then I would recommend installing a rabbit exclusion fence or cylinder to protect your bushes from additional damage by rabbits. You may also want to consider trapping the rabbits, if regulations permit. More information on rabbit prevention measures can be found at the following links:
http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/wildlife/rabbits-and-trees-and-shrubs/
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/tgen/rabbit-damage-to-trees.htm

In the meantime I would recommend giving the bushes some fertilizer. For more information on the care of burning bushes, please visit the following link:
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/shrubs/burning-bush/burning-bush-care.htm

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