Rabbits eating bushes outside.

(Question)

This winter was harsh and the rabbits had no food here in forest ontario.  Our 2 bushes, I believe they are called Burning Bushes as they turn red in the fall.  They have been partially eaten.  Can I or should I cut them back now?

Thanks

(Answer)

Yes. Ideally, burning bush (Euonymous alatus) or winged Euonymus should be cut back in late winter or early spring.

Prune just below the chewed area.  The plant will send out new growth along the remaining stems.  Consider the plant’s appearance when growth is complete.  Uneven trimming will result in a poorly shaped tree once the plant has filled in.

To deter rabbits from chewing next year you might consider surrounding the trunk of the bush with a simple fine mesh or chicken wire cylinder.  Make sure the size of the mesh holes are 1/4 inch or less.  To prevent digging, bend the lower 6 inches of the wire at a 90-degree angle.  Bury this section 1 inch underground.  The wire cage should be at least 3 to 4 feet tall.