What is Buckthorn
Common, or European buckthorn, and glossy buckthorn are the two non-native, invasive buckthorn species found in Minnesota. Common buckthorn was first brought here from Europe in the mid-1800s as a popular hedging material. It escaped and became a nuisance plant, forming dense thickets in forests, yards, parks, and roadsides. It crowded out native plants and displaced the native shrubs and small trees in the mid-layer of the forest where many species of birds nested. Today, common buckthorn is found in nearly every Minnesota county, even though the sale, transport, and movement of these plants is prohibited.
It can thrive through drought and even in low-sunlight areas. Both buckthorns are spread easily and rapidly by birds that feed on its fruit and carry the seeds for miles before excreting them in far-away locations where the seeds can grow into new buckthorn infestation
Buckthorn is a problem because it
How to Identify it
Common buckthorn is easily found in late fall when many native shrubs and trees have lost their leaves. Common buckthorn will often have green leaves through November. Glossy buckthorn does not stay green as late as common buckthorn. Caution! Many native trees look similar to buckthorn and some native trees hold their leaves into the winter. Before you cut, make sure you know you are cutting buckthorn and not a native tree.
What Can I do
First thing you want to do in ensure that you really have Buckthorn. In attempt to control the invasive, many people are
being over zealous and attaching native plants unintentionally. Several native plants commonly thought to be buckthorn are High-bush cranberry, Nannyberry, Chokecherry, Grey dogwood, Pagoda dogwood, American hazelnut and American hornbeam.
Once you know that you really have Buckthorn, now what do you do? Where do you begin?
One way to start is by targeting your buckthorn plants that are producing fruit. Remove these fruit-bearing trees first and that will reduce the amount of seeds added to your soil each year. Buckthorn seeds in the soil can continue to germinate for many years. Buckthorn management is a multi-year commitment. Once you’ve removed buckthorn plants you will need to follow up over time to remove the plants that continue to germinate.
Ways to prioritize management:
Ways to control.
MN DNR links