Battling Buckthorn

Mon. Oct. 12, 2015

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Battling Buckthorn

It’s that time of year!  To do battle with the bane of the botanical minded!  Buckthorn were brought over from Europe where they made terrific hedges.  But here in the United States they compete with our natives and seem to win…  Buckthorn leaves hang on late into Fall making them easy to spot especially as the surrounding foliage drops off.

Communities have Buckthorn Beatdown days to try to eradicate it. Buckthorn takes over our native plants and shrubs and is NOT good for birds. It’s not poisonous, it just doesn’t give them any nutrition as they don’t absorb it. They poop it out almost as fast as they eat it. That means they carry the seeds off somewhere and let nature do it’s thing by reseeding it elsewhere.

Buckthorn bark
Buckthorn bark

The Minnesota DNR has some great information about Buckthorn from identifying the beast in your backyard to how to control it.  Here’s another article from the University of Minnesota Extension on Buckthorn Control.

Buckthorn berries
Buckthorn berries

The most environmentally friendly ways to deal with this invasive is with goats!  I talked about this just last month as the City I live in used goats for a pilot program to eat their way through buckthorn and other invasive species.  The goats don’t get it all but the humans follow up with tools!

Buckthorn in Hauberg woods
Buckthorn in Hauberg woods
The woods AFTER the goats
The woods AFTER the goats
Goat Dispatch goats photo by TJ Heinricy
Goat Dispatch goats photo by TJ Heinricy

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