Buckthorn Eradication Event scheduled for Thursday, November 3 at Fertile’s Agassiz Environmental Learning Center

Oct. 31—FERTILE, Minn.—An invasive buckthorn control session is scheduled for 2-5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3 at the Agassiz Environmental Learning Center, 400 Summit Ave. SW, Fertile. The session will include information on physical and chemical control methods.

Late fall is a good time to control buckthorn because the leaves stay green well into the fall, making it easier to identify the non-native invasive plant.

For those who can stay after the briefing, event organizers will demonstrate buckthorn extraction techniques. The demonstration will include the cutting and pulling of buckthorn branches in the woods, with an emphasis on removing berry-bearing plants so the berries cannot sprout next spring.

The Learning Center and the town of Fertile will have loppers and secateurs, as well as gloves, available to volunteers. Fall weather can be unpredictable, so participants should dress appropriately, dress in layers, and bring snow or rain boots – just in case.

Common Buckthorn is the most common type found in the Fertile Sand Hills around the Learning Center. Introduced to North America from Europe in the 1800s, buckthorn has long been used as a hedge, ornamental shrub, and windbreak in homeowners’ yards. However, it spreads quickly from trimmed and well-maintained yards and invades parks, roadsides and forests.

Buckthorn should be removed because it:

* Outperforms native plants for light, moisture and nutrients.

* Reduces species diversity of plants, birds and other wildlife.

* Destroys wildlife habitat.

* Provides a single type of fruit for birds when other native foods have dwindled.

* Lack of natural controls like insects and plant diseases attacking it.

* Hosts soybean aphids.

For more information on the next buckthorn event, contact Wayne Goeken at (218) 280-0516 or by email at

[email protected]

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