WHAT IS BUCKTHORN
Common Buckthorn, Rhamnus Cathartica and Glossy Buckthorn are two invasive shrubs that came to North America via the nursery industry. These invasive plants have spread from Europe to the Midwest, where they are now found in our forests and woodlands.
Why is Buckthorn bad?
Buckthorns are non-native shrubs that can choke out native woodland plants by shading them out and replacing the understory. The understory of woodlands is essential for creating a variety of habitats that are suitable for wildlife and pollinators. The plants that grow in the understory are essential to a healthy ecosystem. Buckthorn can cause a loss of habitat at a regional level when it becomes invasive on your property. By reducing the number of plant species that can grow, it also reduces biodiversity in plant communities.
As the buckthorn grows, it can also make your woodland less accessible to people. By opening up your forest, you can see birds and other wildlife on your property. You can become part of the forest ecosystem by experiencing its full potential.
You can save an ecosystem by managing buckthorn in your yard!
What can you do?
To maintain the health of your woodland, it is important to remove buckthorn and other woody invasives. Buckthorn removal is not an easy task. There are many ways to do the job. Consider how many plants there are, their maturity, and whether there is a healthy, understory underneath the buckthorn. This assessment will allow you to determine what the best strategy is for buckthorn removal. If you’re hiring Clean Cut Outdoor or a DIYer to manage your Buckthorn, keep in mind your ultimate goal. Buckthorn removal requires constant work.
Here are some management techniques that you can use to get rid of buckthorn.
For smaller stands, you can remove the roots yourself. This method is labor-intensive but does not require any chemicals. Hand pulling of smaller plants is possible, while a weed wrench can be used to remove larger plants.
It is important to think about how the land may be disturbed when using this technique. When you pull plants by their roots, a lot soil will come with them. This loose soil could runoff into nearby rivers or lakes. Pulling up large amounts of buckthorn when a native layer is still in place can have a negative impact on the recovery of native plants. The soil disturbance can also release the weed seeds that are trapped in soil banks. Consider how species such as garlic mustard, burdock and thistle will respond. It is important to consider how species like garlic mustard, burdock, thistle etc.
CUT and STUMP TREATMENT
This is the most common method of addressing an established stand. It has the benefit of minimal soil disturbance and the native plant community. This method involves following the steps below:
Cut down the plant to a stump with a chainsaw, lopper or pruner
Herbicide treatment of the stump to prevent regrowth
Remove material by chipping, burning or hauling away
Clean Cut Outdoor employs experienced ground crews who are trained in the safe use of chainsaws and herbicides.
Our crew uses this technique to manage the wood. They start by cutting the wood down with chainsaws and then “bucking” it up to be transported to a burn pile or chipper. While we are removing material from the forest, we treat the roots with an herbicide that is targeted to prevent the plants from resprouting. If a plant is cut, but not treated, it will resprout in the following growing season.
This work is usually done in winter, when the ground has frozen. We do this to reduce the impact on the forest floor. This is a good season for this type of work because there are no leaves left on the buckthorn plant and it is easier to stack or haul.
A site that is suitable for large machinery can be mowed by forestry equipment. This is an effective way to remove buckthorn. A skid steer fitted with a mulching tool is used for forestry mowing. One machine operator trained in this method can cover more acres per day than a team of workers working by hand over several days. This method is recommended for very large sites with only buckthorn understory and in areas where the impact of the machine is not highly visible. This method has some limitations, including the fact that the mulched material is spread out over the site. It can be less attractive. The material decomposes in the soil over time. The method can also be used on a smaller-scale, but pros and cons should be taken into consideration.
Let us know what we can do to help.
Buckthorn removal in Minnesota can be done by many different methods. Clean Cut Outdoor will be happy to assist you in determining and implementing the best method for your ecosystem. The best route depends on many factors, including the location, the timing, the environmental conditions, the landowners’ preferences, and their budget.
Call us to schedule an appointment to look at your project. If you want a quote to start the process or have already started a project but need support, we’ll be happy to help. Our removal experience is over 1000 hours. Our crews are efficient and careful. They can handle any project, no matter how big or small, in almost any condition.
Clean Cut Outdoor is committed to working closely with landowners in Minnesota to reduce the habitat loss caused by buckthorn infestations.