New Brighton to host buckthorn removal workshop

New Brighton is holding a free workshop that will provide information to help residents learn techniques to properly remove buckthorn and improve the health of area woods.

The workshop will take place at Hansen Park Neighborhood Center, 1555 Fifth St. N.W., Thursday, Sept. 22, from 5:30-7 p.m. Pre-registration is required, to do so, contact 651-638-2130. 

Most shady areas in New Brighton that are not mowed or actively managed will eventually produce buckthorn. The invasive shrub is spread by birds that eat buckthorn berries. The berries act as a laxative in birds and seeds are quickly deposited in new locations. 

Buckthorn is a problem because it invades natural ecosystems, quickly out-competing native woodland plants for light, water, and nutrients. Unlike native plants, buckthorn has no natural insect or animal predators here to keep the population under control. 

Buckthorn prevents regeneration of native trees and over time, turns a healthy forest into a shrubby thicket of buckthorn. With little else that can grow beneath, it allows forest soils to be exposed to erosion. 

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