Buckthorn Management

Buckthorn is an invasive plant species and residents are encouraged to remove it from their properties. Public works actively removes buckthorn throughout the year from the city’s public areas.  Buckthorn is extremely hardy and able to thrive in a variety of soil and light conditions. It also outcompetes native plant species with its fast growth rate and distinctive phenology — buckthorn leaves are out earlier in the spring and it holds its leaves later into fall.  Buckthorn also has few predators. Look closely at a buckthorn leaf and you'll rarely see any spots or small holes. It has no specific insect predators in the US. Deer also avoid it, instead munching on native species and furthering buckthorn’s competitive edge.  To us humans, a glen full of buckthorn just looks like a lush sea of bright green leaves. But to butterflies, bees and insect-eating birds, it's the equivalent of a barren desert.

If you have buckthorn in your yard, the city has just the right tool to help you remove it!
If you have both large and small shrubs, start with the larger ones as they will produce seed-bearing berries.
Hand-removal will not suffice with large shrubs.
You'll need a Weed Wrench for any plants with a "trunk" 0.5-2.5 inches in diameter (depending upon conditions).
The Weed Wrench is easy to use!
You clamp it tightly to the exposed stump and then pull back from the top, ripping the stump and roots from the ground.

Residents can check out the weed wrench for a week at a time. A deposit of $100 is required at the time of pick up and returned immediately after it’s dropped off.