Quick buckthorn removal tips

Follow these quick tips for removing buckthorn (all of this information is further explained in the Managing Woodlands Buckthorn and Beyond presentation listed above):

  • Don’t clear-cut buckthorn–gradual removal is best
  • Do prioritize which buckthorn plants to remove first. Not all buckthorn is equal.
  • Do give native species more room to grow by removing nearby buckthorn. Mark your native species with ribbon. In the fall, native species will turn color while buckthorn will remain green.
  • Don’t confuse female buckthorn plants with chokecherry, black cherry and nannyberry plants, all of which bear black fruit.
  • Do treat freshly cut buckthorn stumps when the temperature is above freezing.
  • Do cut buckthorn when the ground is frozen, when working in areas where wildflowers grow.

When buckthorn is cut, what do you do with it? Here are some ideas:

  • Place buckthorn logs flat on the ground to decompose. This is especially useful on slopes to slow water movement and prevent erosion.
  • Make a buckthorn walking stick, trellis, arbor, fence or garden gate.
  • Chip the brush (without berries) on site and use the chips for mulch.
  • Bring the brush to the Minnetonka Public Works brush drop-off. While you are not required to separate the branches with black berries from the rest of the brush, it is appreciated.

Chipping up brush.