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Buckthorn Help?


the man

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Anyone have any big problems with buckthorn? It is really crowding out the woods and I feel like it is hurting my deer hunting because there is so much of it. Any tips to get rid of it?

Thanks

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you've got to pull it out by the root! cutting it will only make is sprout again next spring.

-leather gloves smile

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Deer will survive just fine with buckthorn, however, it crowds out desirable plants. Its extremely aggressive and will take over the understory.

Cut and treat with herbicide on the large ones, pull out the little ones. They have fairly weak roots and you can pull them up to ~3/4".

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The problematic buckthorn. It does provide some great cover that the deer will utilize. It can become such great cover that it'll become almost non-huntable. The deer will eat it some and utilize buckthorn' berries when other food is scarce, but it may form a monoculture and a diverse planting would likely produce better food.

What has already been suggested is spot on. Pull the small plants out root and all. Cut the bigger ones and treat the stump with herbicide to prevent regrowth.

If you have more than you can handle in one year start with the large berry producing trees.

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Seems like every deer I shoot I have to blood trail thru the buckthorn frown I'm overrun with it but don't have the energy at this point in life to tackle it. If your patch is small, tackle it now!!!

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders

Start taking spine shots?

grin

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One of the woodlots I hunt is infested with it. Bascially, it's the only cover come late October and holds its leaves well into November. Like said, get a handle on it early if you can otherwise it'll completely take over. But don't fret, deer still utilize areas of buckthorn and good hunting can be had.

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Start taking spine shots?

Been there, done that too. Problem is, had to do the kill shot in the dark, holding flashlight on deer that couldn't move back legs - couldn't see my sights, used up last arrows and broadheads, had to go home and put more broadheads together, go back and try to finish off deer, brought wife along as flashlight holder, she started bawling because deer was thrashing around, not fun. I'll take the buckthorn treatment any day before another spine shot!!!

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We'll be in our 3rd year of clearing out an understory totally dominated by buckthorn. Almost wanted to bulldoze the 5 worst acres. As others have mentioned, cutting and treating the stumps of the ones you can't pull is the way to go. This is most effective in late summer/fall--cutting and treating during the active growing season does not work as well. Also easier to treat in fall as other vegetation drops its leaves and buckthorn holds on to its. We treat with a 20% glyphosate solution (active ingredient in Roundup). There are other chemicals which work in the right concentration. We cut buckthorn at first with a chainsaw. That just slowly kills you. Your face is in the thorns and your back eventually gives out. Bought a Stihl brushcutter last fall and it made everything faster, safer, and more comfortable. It uses a special metal saw blade. If you have one person to cut, another to treat stumps, and a couple to move brush you can really clear out the buckthorn.

One thing I noticed was the deer would come and pick the berries off of the piles of downed brush.

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Weve got a 500 acre woods in western mn completely full of it, getting worse every year.

I have done a lot of research and if you were going to make an invasive plant super power, this thing would be it. It has a lot of characteristics that make it alomst invincible.

We are totally overwhelmed and are at a loss for what to do. We have met with Forest Managers and University people.

It is a bit discouraging when you start treating stumps and get a few acres done in a day with several guys and have several hundred left.

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Been there, done that too. Problem is, had to do the kill shot in the dark, holding flashlight on deer that couldn't move back legs - couldn't see my sights, used up last arrows and broadheads, had to go home and put more broadheads together, go back and try to finish off deer, brought wife along as flashlight holder, she started bawling because deer was thrashing around, not fun. I'll take the buckthorn treatment any day before another spine shot!!!

I can understand that being a sore topic with your wife for a long time. I was joking, which I'm sure you figured.

Reminds me of the time I shot my first ML deer & wanted my wife to just come out to the edge of woods & take my pic in the dark (truck headlights). It was cold, my daughter was really little & fussing, she had to bring her with, got all set, the camera was out of film... Went back to the house to get some film, then back to the field, had trouble relocating the deer in the dark in 3' grass, VERY happy wife...

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It is nasty stuff, pretty much keeps it's leaves all winter doesn't it? Grouse kind of like it too, but HARD to hunt in.

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This stuff is so resiliant that when birds eat the berries, they fly away and then throw up.

It is a tool that the plant uses to spread it's nasty little self to new areas.

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I can understand that being a sore topic with your wife for a long time. I was joking, which I'm sure you figured.

Yes I know you were kidding but it brought back memories!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Most of what people have said in here is good advice. The best thing you can do is be persistent and have patience. Doing Rx burns is really difficult because the leaf litter isn't enough to carry a hot killing fire. I pull small trees, and cut the larger ones with chainsaws or brushsaws. Then I treat them with a 15% a.i. solution of Garlon 4 (triclopyr) and Basal bark oil. The oil is dyed blue to help you see the stumps you have treated. From July-December is the best time to remove buckthorn, because they are trying to store energy back into their roots for next years growth. Find all the female plants with berries and remove them first. I burn them in a deep firepit and bury them. The year following your first removal the buckthorn will sucker up over some stumps that you missed, so do the same as last year and wait to treat them later in the summer. I bought a Weed Wand applicator too so that I don't spray other plants, and I don't have to bend over all day.

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