FERTILE, Minn. – The University of Minnesota-Crookston Natural Resources Club will lead a buckthorn removal demonstration project from 1 to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, at the Agassiz Environmental Learning Center, 400 Summit Ave. SW, Fertile. The public is welcome to attend to learn how to identify and control buckthorn, a nonnative invasive shrub, and help out if so inclined.


Laura Bell, UMC Natural Resources Department lab manager and Natural Resources Club adviser, will provide information about buckthorn’s life cycle, including the viability of seeds that need to be controlled for several years. Buckthorn grows from seeds or suckers. The control method to be demonstrated will be to cut the buckthorn at its base and apply a chemical to the stump that the plant will take down into its roots and kill it, thus preventing suckering if the plant was only cut.

Buckthorn keeps its leaves later into the fall than nearly any other shrub or tree and is easy to identify as a result. Buckthorn has taken over the understory of the Duckstad Woods and has spread along the Sand Hill River, but is not as common yet in the Fertile Sand Hills.

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Volunteers are invited to help control the spread of this aggressive invasive species to keep it from overtaking more desirable natural species at the Agassiz ELC site.

For more information about the program or to get involved with ongoing buckthorn control, contact Wayne Goeken, Agassiz ELC executive director, at (218) 280-0516.