Saturday, October 8, 2016

Burning Bush vs. Sumac

Leaves are turning red and yellow and orange. One of the reddest reds (besides sugar maples) is the invasive shrub burning bush. I can talk myself blue in the face trying to convince people to rip out the burning bush in their yard because it's reseeding itself all over the woods.

"But i love burning bush," they say. Or, "I'll keep an eye on it." Ha!

Meanwhile, native sumac turns brilliant red, orange, yellow, and purple (!) with a tinge of green. I like the calming airiness and regularity of sumac leaves.

But sumac has a bad reputation as a weed tree. I like it because it's an intermediate tree, forming a background to a flower garden and a step up toward the tall woods trees. No matter how i sing the praises of sumac, i cannot rehabilitate its reputation among my friends.

"I want to chop it all down," they say.

The bad boy wins, and the beautiful native loses.

The bad boy can seem very glamorous, but we delude ourselves if we think we or he can get away with something.

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