Cinthia Milner's article on shrubbery ["Into the Shrubbery," July 1 Xpress] did not give sufficient warning against the continued introduction and use of nonnative invasive plants. There are thousands of better choices! Burning Bush (Euonymous alatus) was introduced in the 1860s from Asia and is now at the infestation level in seven states, according to Nonnative Invasive Plants of the Southern Forests by James H. Miller. Check out this Web site: www.invasive.org/eastern/srs.
Native plants are best adapted to our region and perpetuate a healthy environment. Regrettably, consumer demand tends to determine what is available at local nurseries and big-box stores. In many cases you can purchase plant material that isn't even suitable to the USDA zone for the Asheville area (for example, it will not survive the winter).
There are some great resources for selecting appropriate plant material for this area. For example, take a walk through the Botanical Gardens at Asheville located on W.T. Weaver Boulevard. Also consider consulting a landscape architect, master gardener, horticulturist, nurseryman, or other person knowledgeable in plant species and their characteristics.
Keep the mountains native!
— Tony Hauser, Registered Landscape Architect