Common Buckthorn a Growing Concern in Minnesota

Common Buckthorn a Growing Concern in Minnesota

February 15, 2021 Farm News News -- KRJB-KRJM-KKCQ 0

St, Paul, MN — Invasive plant species are becoming a major concern for Minnesota forests and fields and trying to control invasive plant species can be overwhelming. Common Buckthorn is a prime example of this and was featured as the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s February Weed of the Month. Common Buckthorn is a woody, invasive shrub or small tree that is native to Asia. It was brought to United States as an ornamental and was often used for shelter belts and windbreaks. However, it has since spread to forested areas where it is taking over the forest floor causing regeneration issues. It’s also become a known winter host for soybean aphids, according to Monika Chandler with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

How do you know if Common Buckthorn is an issue in your area? Chandler notes that it is easiest to spot in the spring and fall months.

Common Buckthorn is prevalent in nearly all parts of the state, including the Red River Valley. In fact, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has parts of this region listed as a high priority for controlling it. Chandler says the sooner you can get on top of controlling buckthorn, the better.

The University of Minnesota Extension has an excellent video series available for those interested in controlling common buckthorn. Links to those videos can be found below:

University of Minnesota Extension video series

Tangled Ecosystem:  Soybean aphid and buckthorn

Buckthorn ID – Steps for Reducing the Soybean Aphid Host

Buckthorn Management First Steps:  Reducing the Soybean Aphid Host

How to Manage Buckthorn

DNR has very helpful information on Buckthorn.