GREEN Team Replaces Invasives at the Leach Library

Members of the Londonderry GREEN Team replaced some invasive shrubs next to the Leach Library sign during a 2023 Earth Day project. The burning bushes (Euonymus alatus) were overgrown, misshapen and most of all, an invasive species. Although attractive, they have become a destructive invasive plant. It is currently illegal to sell, propagate or transplant burning bush in the state.
UNH Cooperative Extension has developed a list of recommended replacements for burning bush. These two native species are good choices. Highbush-cranberry (Viburnum trilobum) a native plant that provides similar berry like fruit attractive to wildlife as well as an attractive fall burgundy color. Highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) also native, develops a fall leaf color in shades of orange and red depending on the variety, with the added benefit of edible fruit. It is important to note that these native plants provide a vital food source for pollinators and other wildlife.
The GREEN Team decided on the Highbush blueberry for their project. The shrubs offer spring flowers that support pollinators, late summer fruit for birds and small mammals as well as fall colors. The variety “Northland” was chosen for its hardiness and compact growth, only reaching about five-feet high. This should prevent the overgrowth that caused the burning bushes to become so unattractive, without requiring maintenance. Photos by Chris Paul

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