European Buckthorn can grow to 20 feet in height. It is aggressive in growth, creating dense shade and crowding out native wildflowers and other plants from the under-story. During the Fall, the leaves stay green being one of the last plants to lose leaves. The fruit is cathartic, meaning it causes diarrhea, allowing it to spread easily by birds eating the fruit.
If feasible, it is a good idea to remove this plant from your property or at least control its spread. The first part of removal or control is to accurately identify European Buckthorn. The Minnesota DNR website is an excellent resource for the identification and management of Buckthorn. https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/terrestrialplants/woody/buckthorn/index.html
Another way to learn to identify Buckthorn is through using a smartphone app called 'Picture This'. You take a photo that the app compares to its database. The app is accurate in its recognition of Buckthorn and other plants in the Long Lake area.
|Buckthorn with fruit. Priority is given to|
removing this phase of the plant to prevent
Another method involves cutting the bark circumstantially around the trunk. With either of these methods, the application of a small amount of herbicide such as Glyphosate herbicide to the exposed cut of the tree trunk will be more effective in preventing regrowth. As seeds may germinate up to 5 years after, it is important to recheck the area and pull new seedlings once a year. Sometimes you will need to prune new shoots off of previously cut trunks. Once Buckthorn is eradicated, the woods reestablish with native woodland wildflowers and plants in the under-story. A healthy woods offers a better habitat for wildlife.
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