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A good way to identify Buckthorn is by its bark, which has a grey, scaly look.
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Why Buckthorn is a Problem
 

Buckthorn was brought to North America in the 19th century by Europeans to use for hedges. Its seed comes in the form of a berry, which birds eat and pass along throughout our woodlands, wetlands, and prairies. Left unchecked, it can grow to a height of 30 feet. Once a Buckthorn plant reaches seed-bearing age, it can spread so thickly so as to make a landscape inaccessible to deer and humans alike. If left unmanaged, it will eventually overtake a landscape. It is one of the more threatening invasive species because it propagates itself very and out-competes our native tree species.

October and November is a good time to indentify Buckthorn, as it remains green after the other deciduous trees have dropped their leaves.
 

Three Steps to Buckthorn Eradication

  Step One:
The first step is cutting down the plant. We use a combination of chainsaws and Stihl brush cutters, depending on how thick the individual plants are and the density of the thicket. These tools allow us to clear-cut a large area of Bucktorn in a short while.
  Step Two:
The second step is applying a herbicide to the freshly cut stump. If applied immediately, the herbicide will be absorbed into the root system of the plant and will kill it. This is a critical step as skipping it will result in the Buckthorn plant returning with a vengeance the following year.

spaying

  Step Three:
The final step is perhaps the most challenging: what to do with all the Buckthorn brush. Most often we use a portable chipper. Because it’s mounted on the back of a compact tractor, we can get it into the dense, woodland situations where most Buckthorn is found. Chipping it on the spot saves much time and money. Morever, it is illegal to tansport Buckthorn, as it is an "invasive species." Therefore can only be disposed of on site.

chipping