If You See this Plant on Your Property, Remove It Immediately
Both species of buckthorn found in Minnesota are non-native and invasive.
Angie Hong is a nature enthusiast and the coordinator for Minnesota’s East Metro Water Resource Education Program. With over 58k followers on TikTok, she uses her platform to educate and advocate for better environmental practices. In one of her most recent videos -- which has been viewed over 113k times in less than 24 hours -- she addresses the recent designation of the St. Croix River as "impaired" for having the "forever chemical" PFOS.
Hong takes a fun approach to education in her videos, as evidenced by another recent video regarding the invasive plant species buckthorn. In the TikTok video, Hong jumps into the frame with Pokemon-esque vibes. "Now is the time!" she says, playfully. "Now is the time to begin removing invasive buckthorn from your property if you have it." She goes on to explain what buckthorn is and why it's undesirable. "Buckthorn is a non-native, invasive shrub from Europe that has invaded many of our woodlands in the northern portions of North America."
She provides additional videos of buckthorn so viewers know what it looks like, though she offers the helpful tip that -- due to the season -- "If you're looking out in the woods, it's pretty much the only thing in the understory which is green." She suggests, if treating buckthorn with loppers or a saw, also treating the stump and stem with herbicide afterwards to make sure it really, truly dies (you can also cover it with black plastic or hire goats, she adds).
According to Minnesota DNR, both common buckthorn and glossy buckthorn "became a nuisance plant, forming dense thickets in forests, yards, parks and roadsides" that crowds "out native plants and displace[s] the native shrubs and small trees in the mid-layer of the forest where many species of birds nest." The DNR offers more exhaustive information on the treatment of buckthorn.