How to Remove Buckthorn


Buckthorn is an invasive shrub and usually is considered a weed. Once it gets a foothold in a yard or a wooded section of property, it can be difficult to get rid of and difficult to keep from coming back. However, with a plan of action and a concerted effort, buckthorn can be removed from your property for good.

Step 1

Water the buckthorn-infested area thoroughly to soften the soil and make it easier to pull the plants out.

Step 2

Pull as many buckthorn plants as you can by hand. This is only practical if you are clearing a relatively small area.

Step 3

Pull out buckthorn plants with a stem diameter of 3/8 inch or greater with a weed wrench.

Step 4

Cut large buckthorn plants with loppers. Cut the plants down to ground level. Mark the location of each stump if they will be difficult to locate later.

Step 5

Cover the stumps with a black tarp or an old tin can to keep light from reaching them. Keep the stumps covered for at least 30 days.

Step 6

Spray or brush an herbicide on the stumps of your buckthorn plants if it is not possible to cover them with black tarp or tin cans. Use an herbicide designed to soak into the cut portion of the plant and kill the roots.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always wear heavy gloves and eye protection when working with buckthorn.

Things You'll Need

  • Weed wrench
  • Loppers
  • Black tarp
  • Tin cans


  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: What You Can Do to Control Buckthorn
Keywords: remove buckthorn, killing buckthorn, getting rid of buckthorn

About this Author

Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for TV, everything from SMURFS to SPIDER-MAN.