(Rhamnus cathartica; Frangula alnus)
Common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) was likely first introduced to North America in the late 1700's by colonial settlers, who used the plant medicinally. It now thrives in Minnesota’s wooded landscapes, pushing out native plants important for erosion control and wildlife.
Buckthorn has been linked to another major invasive species in recent years. Soybean aphids, currently the number one insect threat to Minnesota soybean growers, lay their eggs on buckthorn for the winter. Buckthorn can also host the fungus responsible for oat crown rust.
Current research is aimed at more reliable control of buckthorn, with a long-term goal of minimizing its harmful impact. Among the innovative methods of control being tested by MITPPC scientists: planting native species to “outshade” buckthorn seedlings and strategically utilizing grazing goats.
- Cover it up! Using plants to control buckthorn, Peter Reich, Forest Resources, CFANS
- Understanding the benefits and limitations of using goats for invasive plant control, Tiffany Wolf, Veterinary Population Medicine, CVM
- Will future weather favor Minnesota’s woody invaders? Peter Reich, Forest Resources, CFANS