Buckthorn: What You Need to Know

Common buckthorn plant

Common buckthorn makes a great hedge. That's part of the reason it was brought to the U.S. and planted here. But it's a disaster when it gets into woodlands. Glossy buckthorn, another member of the buckthorn family, is another invasive plant; it is particularly aggressive in wetlands, including wet forests.

Buckthorn's dense growth can crowd out native plants. Common buckthorn can also be a host for the soybean aphid, a pest for soybean producers, and crown rust, a fungus that kills oats.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has maps showing where these weeds have spread.

* Common buckthorn, also known as European buckthorn, Rhamnus cathartica

* Glossy buckthorn, Frangula alnus

With the right information, you can protect your woods from this invasive plant. Start by learning about buckthorn, or jump to steps for damage control or prevention. And remember, help is always available.

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