Remedy rabbit damage
We had no choice but to cut all these branches off. The rabbits
chewed through the bark and ate the cambium on almost every one.
The limbs might have leafed out but growth would have been weak and
probably would have died in the first hot, dry spell of summer.
The shrub will come back, and will probably be 3 feet tall and
wide by high summer... if we can keep the rabbits away as the new
shoots develop. (Time for small-opening wire mesh, and/or
We had already planned to cut these dwarf burning bushes back
before bud-break, to reclaim the view from the deck out to the
yard. We knew that meant cutting most branches back to about 12"
below the deck rail so the plant would be able to grow all season
without needing another trim. In addition, we would have to cut
back some branches even farther so leafy growth will develop even
in the shrub's interior.
In this case because the rabbit chewing girdled some limbs, we
cut those branches below the gnawed section, then pruned what
remained as described above.
The shrub will grow back to deck rail level by mid summer. Check
back - we'll post photos.