Buckthorn (both Common Buckthorn and Glossy Buckthorn) is an invasive, non-native plant that poses a serious threat to the local environment. These plants are very adaptable to many growing conditions and have no known biological controls; thus, when left unmanaged, they begin to overtake yards, woodlands, parks, etc. Buckthorn has the potential to out-compete native plants for light, moisture and nutrients, diminish biodiversity and in turn, destroy wildlife habitat.
There are several control options available for managing buckthorn including: pulling by hand (smaller plants up to roughly 3/8 of an inch), using a hand tool, such as a "Weed Wrench", to pull larger plants (up to about 2 inches in diameter), or cutting and chemically treating the stumps of Buckthorn greater than 2 inches in diameter (always follow product instructions for mixing and applying any type of herbicide).
Two "Weed Wrenches" are now available for Ramsey residents to check out to assist with managing and eradicating Buckthorn. This tool can be checked out for one week at a time and does require a $25 deposit to ensure that it is returned clean and in working condition. If interested in checking out one of the "Weed Wreches", please call the Community Development Department at 763-433-9824. Please note that a signed waiver form and safety glasses (provided by the City) are required.