To the Editor-
As a runner, I spend countless hours every week on trails which run through city parks and neighborhoods. Recently I have noticed a growing overabundance of Buckthorn along these trails, as well as in resident’s backyard forests. While they may look like any ordinary bush or shrub, Buckthorn is an incredibly undesirable plant for resident’s yards and the ecosystem in this region.
Buckthorn is an invasive species in Minnesota and utilizes many devices to overtake native plants and forests. Because it produces leaves early in spring and loses them late in fall, these nuisance plants out-compete native species for sunlight. This creates a forest floor so cluttered with vegetation that it is impassable. This thick layer of vegetation threatens the future of these precious green spaces. While Buckthorn is overwhelming, and seemingly out of control, there is an effective route that the Plymouth community can take.
The City of Plymouth allows citizens to request the use of city owned Weed Wrenches. These wrenches provide extremely efficient mechanical advantage when removing Buckthorn up to 2.5 inches in diameter by clasping the trunk and providing leverage to pull the plant from the roots. Contact the City Public Works Department at 763-509-5950 to reserve a wrench or two. If the wrench is not big enough to remove a Buckthorn plant then a it will be necessary to use a handsaw or chainsaw. It is important however to treat cut stumps with a Glyphosate herbicide, such as Ortho Brush-Be-Gone. It is amazing how easy it is to remove large amounts of Buckthorn using a combination of wrenches and saws, especially when a whole neighborhood comes together to clear a park or trail.
The Buckthorn problem is massive. However, from past experience, I have seen the Plymouth community rally together and do amazing things. Go out and spread the word to end Buckthorn, one park at a time.