What is buckthorn?
Buckthorn is a non-native plant that originated in Eurasia. Both common and glossy varieties of buckthorn reach 20 to 25 feet in height and 10 inches in diameter. Because of its invasiveness, buckthorn is no longer sold in nurseries and is not recommended for planting. Common or European buckthorn is found in nearly every Minnesota county and is spreading. It may seem harmless in the neighborhood, but it is devastating the river bluffs and park lands by invading the understory of native plants. Buckthorn spreads easily to new areas. Birds eat the berries on the plant, then distribute the seeds in their droppings. The droppings fall in unmowed areas – woodlands, wetlands, bluffs, lake shores – and grow into a dense wall of vegetation. Native plants cannot compete and eventually disappear. Wildlife habitat is destroyed. Removing buckthorn You can remove seedlings and small shrubs by hand or with a weed wrench. Gather the plants and place them where the roots can dry. This prevents re-roo