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What's Wrong with Buckthorn?

  • Competes with native plants for light, space, and nutrients.
  • Seeds may persist in the soil for up to 6 years before germinating.
  • Has chemicals in its roots, leaves, and fruit that inhibit the growth of other plants.
  • Are vigorous trees that are difficult to kill, even with herbicides.
  • Creates a monoculture as it invades an area, decreasing diversity of plant communities and wildlife habitat.


Steps to Removing Buckthorn

  1. Remove the medium and large buckthorn trees. Stumps must be ground out or treated chemically. Fall is an optimum time to begin this phase.
  2. Pull or spray smaller seedlings.
  3. Once removed, there will be a flush of new growth. Pull or spray new seedlings. This phase could last several years.
  4. Replanting may be necessary if the buckthorn has displaced native plants in the area. Established native plants will make it more difficult for buckthorn to reinvade making them a crucial part of the restoration process.
buckthorn removal
Common buckthorn was added to the "Restricted Noxious Weed List" in 1999 and can no longer be sold. Glossy buckthorn was added to the list in 2001.
buckthorn removal  

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Professional and Industry Links (Click on logos below)

Tree Care Industry Association
Minnesota Society of Arboriculture
International Society of Arboriculture
Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association


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