Burning bush is described by state policymakers as “a non-native widely planted landscape shrub popular for its fire-engine-red fall foliage.”
The shrub is said to reach up to 15 feet in height and “once established it will displace native vegetation” due to being highly adaptable since it can thrive in different environments.
The ban on sales is expected to begin in early 2023 giving a grace period for retailers.
The decision came after a meeting by the Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Committee, which ruled the Chinese, European, and Border privets, in addition to burning bush, would be banned for sale as Class B noxious weeds.
In Pennsylvania, weeds are distinguished in three classes:
Class A Noxious Weed
- Is established in Pennsylvania
- Is geographically limited
- Is intended to be eradicated
Class B Noxious Weed
- Is widely established in Pennsylvania
- Cannot feasibly be eradicated
Class C Noxious Weed
- Is not known to exist in Pennsylvania
- Poses a potential threat if introduced into the Commonwealth
- Is listed on the Federal Noxious Weed List
There are more than two dozen plants classified as a Class B noxious weed in Pennsylvania. There are 19 classified as Class A. Only one plant — the water soldier — is classified as Class C.
There are approximately 140 invasive plants that the Pennsylvania Governor’s Invasive Species Council has identified as “having the greatest current or potential negative impacts.”