Buckthorn is on the Minnesota DNR’s list of restricted noxious weeds. It is an invasive species that was imported from Europe and used for hedges. There are still homes in St. Paul with buckthorn hedges. I wonder if the homeowners are even aware of it.
Goats were hired to eat the buckthorn growing in Indian Mounds Park. They seem to be the only natural enemy the plant has.
I found some buckthorn in my yard and my neighbors are growing a large buckthorn bush along a fence. I see it along some of the bike trails in Lilydale regional park too. The way to get rid of buckthorn is to pull it out and dig out the roots, it isn’t easy to remove.
The plant is fairly easy to identify. When in doubt look for thorns at the base of the leaves where they join the stem.
Buckthorn plants that are two inches in diameter or larger are best controlled by cutting the stem at the soil surface and then covering or treating the stump to prevent re-sprouting. Cutting can be effectively done with hand tools (for a few plants), chain saws, or brush cutters.
The Minnesota DNR has a lot of information about the plant and how to remove it. You will need a permit to have goats in your St. Paul yard but I suppose that is an option too.
I have never seen buckthorn listed on the seller’s disclosure but I think disclosing noxious weeds is a good idea.