I am looking for a replacement for our buckthorns. I recently found
out about their invasiveness and would like to remove them.
However, finding a replacement has been impossible! I have a particular
spot by my house and deck that requires a shrub/tree to be 3' wide,
12'-15' tall. Could anyone recommend something (anything!) in that size?
This is for zone 5.
If I can't find a suitable replacement, I was thinking of removing the
female plants. No berries = no spreading, except in the (contained) bed
in my yard. What do you think?
If you're not in Europe where its native you should just get rid of them.
If you got rid of just the females, the males would still be pollinating
far & wide. The danger is not so much that they seed all over your garden
(which they do) because so do cotoneasters & hawthornes & holly & much
else, but the threat is to the woodland areas where buckthorns quickly
spread their seeds, where they easily out-compete & displace native
shrubs, & the fruits sicken or occasionally kill birds which are not
accustomed to the invader shrub.
Doublecheck for your zone because I can't always remember what grows down
to zone 5, but choices I am pretty sure would meet your needs for size &
cold-hardiness include Western and/or Saskatoon Serviceberry, American
Witchhazel (blooms in winter), native hazels, black twinberry, native
elderberries or elderberry cultivars (extremely fast growing), highbush
cranberry (Viburnum trilobum, edule, opulus, or sargentiana are all
lovely; check out what other viburnums might be native to your region),
flowering grey dogwood (Cornus racemosa), pagoda dogwood (C.
alternifolia), flowering button willow (Cephalanthus occidentalis),
western syringa/mock orange (Philadelphus lewisii; there is a
double-flowering cultivar worth tracking down), Sitka mountain ash (Sorbus
sitchensis), or bladdernut (Staphylea trifoliata) named for its bizarre
There are no doubt many more possibilities but even just the ones I've
named are such interesting shrubs that you might not want to stick to just
one or two kinds; if there's room for several shrubs plant an array of
several species. This could be a blessing in disguise, getting rid of
crappy shrubs & having room for an array of great ones. There are many
more shrubs probably smaller than you're after, but if you get an array of
different things you will not want them all to be the same height, so
could fill in with something like chokeberry or fothergilla. There may be
additional things like semi-dwarf plums, vine maples, particularly hardy
Japanese maple cultivars, for which zone 5 is the low-end stretch, but as
you're planting near the house they would be quite protected & have some
risidual warmth from the house.
-paghat the ratgirl
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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