Invasive Plant Control Database

Welcome to the Invasive Plant Control Database

This website contains information on how to control many invasive plants common to the Midwestern United States. Information was collected from both scientific literature and expert opinions and summarized by the Midwest Invasive Plant Network (MIPN), in partnership with the Mark Renz lab from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Methods that are uncommon, do not provide sufficient control, or lack information for determining effectiveness on target species are omitted. For each species, information was reviewed by four individuals, including two identified as experts on control of that species. Information is searchable by several fields to improve the user’s ability to find pertinent information. To view the search feature, you must first select an invasive plant. Additionally, users have the option of entering personal experiences with managing specific species (see “add new case studies” under search results). These case studies will be visible to all users once verified by MIPN staff.

We make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to the information or products on the website. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. References to pesticide products on this website are for your convenience and are not an endorsement or guarantee of one product over another.

Step 1: Select Plant

Step 1: Select a species by choosing a common or scientific name from the list, or by typing a name in the search box.

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Step 2: Select Search Parameters

Step 2: Select search parameter(s) of interest. If no parameters are selected all control methods will be displayed. For effectiveness ratings, methods that meet or exceed the criteria selected will be displayed.

Under the Search Results you will find

  • Plant Identification information – information on species identification, including photographs and a current distribution map.
  • Ecological Threats – threats posed to natural ecosystems by this species.
  • Case Studies – Detailed success (and failures) on how to control specific species contributed by experienced personnel.
  • Non-chemical and chemical control methods that fit the selected search criteria. Please note you are responsible for using pesticides in accordance with the label directions and state and federal laws. Herbicide availability and registered uses vary from state to state. Contact your state department of agriculture for information on the correct use and licensing required for any pesticide application.

You may reset the search criteria or the species you have selected at any time by selecting the corresponding links on the right hand side of the page.

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Search Results

Rhamnus cathartica (common buckthorn)

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Case Studies
Description
Treatment Description -
I rent goats out for natural weed and brush control in southern Wisconsin.They love to eat buckthorn. They defoliate as much of the plant as they can reach, even bending over 12 foot tall saplings to strip the leave off. They like to chew the bark off buckthorn and will girdle it. Although they chew bark year round, the heaviest bark stripping occurs in winter and late spring when they are bored with eating hay. They also damage bark by rubbing their horns on it. The goats are contained and concentrated on the site with portable electric net fencing. Fence energizes run off of deep cycle batteries that can be connected to solar chargers. They need to be monitored and given water and minerals daily. Fences need to be checked at least once a day to make sure nothing has compromised it such as; branches falling on it, the wind working it loose and causing it to sag, wild animals knocking it down, or people moving it. Most predators will avoid the electric fence but livestock guardians such as donkeys, llamas or dogs may be needed at some locations with large predators or at large domestic dogs.

Habitat Type -
My goats have cleared buckthorn from dense thickets, under large oak trees, and in more open areas like abandoned pastures and orchards. Although they also eat broadleaf weeds and some grasses, they will usually eat the buckthorn first . The goats pose little, if any, threat to mature trees with thick bark but the will strip bark from fruit trees and young maples. They will also, at times, strip bark from young conifers. They enjoy eating green conifer needles. Unlike forest mowers and chemical applications, goats are friendly to small animals , amphibians and ground nesting birds. They are quiet and their manure turns noxious weeds into microorganism rich living fertilizer. Goats are reported to digest 99% of the seeds they eat.

Effectiveness -
The time it takes for goats to defoliate everything they can reach depends on the biomass of the site. However, based on a two summer long research study I conducted under a grant from SARE, the goats average 300 square feet per goat per day. This is for the first grazing of a buckthorn thicket after it leafs out in May. Trees they can't reach will need to be cut down. The goats will defoliate the dropped trees, making branch removal easier. Sprouts from the stump will be eaten by goats in later treatments. Most of the time the buckthorn will sprout new leaves in about 30 days. When goats are put back on the buckthorn 4 to 7 weeks after they first defoliated it, an area they defoliated in two or three days will be defoliated again in five to ten hours. Even grazing only once per year will reduce the size and vigor of buckthorn infestations. Two to three grazings the first year have been recommended by other researchers ( University of Wisconsin 2011-2012). Some buckthorns have been killed after one grazing but partial recovery of the plant is more common. Repeated grazing will eventually bankrupt the plant's food reserves and kill it.
Non-Chemical controls
New (Type)Description
Type -
Mowing

User Type -
Novice

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Mowing removes above-ground growth of established plants and prevents additional seed production, but rarely kills plants. Established plants persist after mowing for many years. If possible, mow in the winter to avoid damaging desirable vegetation and compacting soil. If mowed material is mulched on the soil surface it can reduce seedling recruitment. Pairing mowing with another technique (such as foliar spray of herbicide) increases effectiveness. Cutting before seed is produced in summer and again after the plant has resprouted in fall will reduce vigor of resprouts the following year, but will not kill plants. If seeds are present when removed, avoid movement off-site unless material can be transported without spreading fruit to other locations.
Type -
Prescribed burning

User Type -
Professional

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Spring burns can kill germinating seedlings and suppress above-ground growth of established plants depending on fire intensity. After the fire, established plants will quickly resprout; this management method is not recommended unless integrated with other techniques. Burning stimulates seedling germination, but 5-6 years of repeated burning will reduce buckthorn seedbank. A five-second application of flame with a propane torch around the stem will kill plants <2" diameter.
Type -
Removal

User Type -
Novice

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Plants <0.4" diameter are easily pulled from moist soil. Larger diameters (0.5-1.5") can be dug or pulled. To prevent resprouting remove above-ground growth and root crown. Dig before plant produces seeds.
Type -
Manipulation of the environment

User Type -
Novice

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Under planting with a vigorous, shade-tolerant woody species, such as sugar maple, may compete with new buckthorn invasions since this further reduces the light level in forests and prevents established plant growth and seedling germination.
Chemical controls
New (Type)IngredientsDirections
Type -
Pre-emergence

User Type -
Professional

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
napropamide

Common product name:
Devrinol 50-DF
Rate -
(spot) 1.8 - 7.1 lb/A (1 - 3.6 lb a.i./A)

Timing -
Apply prior to germination of seedlings. While spring applications will maximize control, fall or winter applications may also suppress seedlings, depending upon environmental conditions.

Remarks -
Reduced efficacy can be expected if <0.6" of rainfall occurs within 2-3 days of application.

Caution -
Do not apply directly to water or to areas where surface water is present. Do not apply more than once a year. Avoid using napropamide in areas where soils are composed of more than 10% organic matter. Napropamide remains in the soil for up to a year depending on application. Maintenance of a vegetative buffer strip is required between the areas napropamide is applied and surface water features or sensitive terrestrial habitats. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided, as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants.
Type -
Pre-emergence

User Type -
Professional

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
pendimethalin

Common product name:
Pendulum Aquacap; Prowl
Rate -
(spot) 90 fl oz/A (2.7 lb a.i./A)

Timing -
Apply prior to germination of seedlings. While spring applications will maximize control, fall or winter applications may also suppress seedlings, depending upon environmental conditions.

Remarks -
Reduced efficacy can be expected if <0.5" of rainfall occurs within 30 days of application.

Caution -
Do not apply directly to water or to areas where surface water is present. Do not exceed applications of 67 fl oz/A on home lawns, parks, schools, and playgrounds. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants.
Type -
Foliar

User Type -
Novice

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
glyphosate

Common product name:
Roundup Pro; many others (Aquatic: Rodeo; AquaNeat)
Rate -
(broadcast) 1.7 - 3.7 lb a.e./A
(spot) For a 3 lb a.e./gal product. 1 - 2% (0.03 - 0.06 lb a.e./gal)

Timing -
When target species is actively growing and fully leafed out.

Remarks -
A wick application is effective on shorter plants that are taller than desirable species, with 33 - 75% (1.5 - 3.4 lb a.e./gal).

Caution -
Use product labeled for aquatic use if potential exists for solution to contact surface waters. Applications can result in bare ground as glyphosate is not selective. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided, as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants.
Type -
Foliar

User Type -
Novice

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
triclopyr

Common product name:
Garlon 4; Element 4 (Aquatic: Garlon 3A; Element 3A)
Rate -
(broadcast) 128 - 256 fl oz/A (4 - 8 lb a.e/A)
(spot) 1 - 2% (0.04 - 0.08 lb a.e./gal)

Timing -
Apply when target species is actively growing and fully leafed out.

Caution -
Use product labeled for aquatic use if potential exists for solution to contact surface waters. Use of this chemical in areas where soils are permeable, particularly where the water table is shallow, may result in groundwater contamination. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants.
Type -
Cut stump

User Type -
Novice

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
triclopyr

Common product name:
Garlon 4; Element 4 (Aquatic: Garlon 3A; Element 3A)
Rate -
(spot) 20 - 30% in oil (0.8 - 1.2 lb a.e./gal)

Timing -
Apply any time of year.

Remarks -
Products containing this active ingredient can have different instructions for mixing. Labels will recommend mixing the product in a water or oil based carrier (e.g. basal bark oil). Consult the label to determine the appropriate carrier.

Caution -
Use product labeled for aquatic use if potential exists for solution to contact surface waters. Use of this chemical in areas where soils are permeable, particularly where the water table is shallow, may result in groundwater contamination. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants.
Type -
Cut stump

User Type -
Novice

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
glyphosate

Common product name:
Roundup Pro; many others (Aquatic: Rodeo; AquaNeat)
Rate -
(spot) For a 3 lb a.e./gal product. 20 - 50% (0.6 - 1.5 lb a.e./gal)

Timing -
Apply any time of year.

Caution -
Use product labeled for aquatic use if potential exists for solution to contact surface waters. Applications can result in bare ground as glyphosate is not selective. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided, as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants.
Type -
Cut stump

User Type -
Professional

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
picloram

Common product name:
Tordon 22k; Trooper 22K
Rate -
(spot) 50 - 100% (1 - 2 lb a.e./gal)

Timing -
Apply any time of year.

Caution -
Do not apply directly to water or to areas where surface water is present. Use of this chemical in areas where soils are permeable, particularly where the water table is shallow, may result in groundwater contamination. Remains in the soil for over one year depending on application rate and has the potential to contaminate surface runoff water during this timeframe. Maintenance of a vegetative buffer strip is recommended between the areas picloram is applied and surface water features. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants. Do not compost treated plants as herbicide can persist through composting process.
Type -
Cut stump

User Type -
Professional

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
imazapyr

Common product name:
Stalker (Aquatic: Habitat; Imazapyr 2sl)
Rate -
(spot) 6 - 9% in oil (0.1 - 0.2 lb a.e./gal)

Timing -
Apply any time of year.

Remarks -
Products containing this active ingredient can have different instructions for mixing. Labels will recommend mixing the product in a water or oil based carrier (e.g. basal bark oil). Consult the label to determine the appropriate carrier.

Caution -
Use product labeled for aquatic use if potential exists for solution to contact surface waters. Applications can result in bare ground as imazapyr is not selective and can remain in the soil for several months to over a year depending on application rate. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided, as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants.
Type -
Hack-and-squirt

User Type -
Professional

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
picloram + 2,4-D

Common product name:
Pathway; Tordon RTU
Rate -
(spot) 100% (picloram: 3% + 2,4-D: 11.2%)

Timing -
Apply any time of year.

Caution -
Do not apply directly to water or to areas where surface water is present. Use of this chemical in areas where soils are permeable, particularly where the water table is shallow, may result in groundwater contamination. Remains in the soil for over one year depending on application rate and has the potential to contaminate surface runoff water during this timeframe. Maintenance of a vegetative buffer strip is recommended between the areas this product is applied and surface water features. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants. Do not compost treated plants as herbicide can persist through composting process.
Type -
Hack-and-squirt

User Type -
Professional

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
imazapyr

Common product name:
Stalker (Aquatic: Habitat; Imazapyr 2sl)
Rate -
(spot) 6 - 9% in oil (0.1 - 0.2 lb a.e./gal)

Timing -
Apply any time of year.

Remarks -
Products containing this active ingredient can have different instructions for mixing. Labels will recommend mixing the product in a water or oil based carrier (e.g. basal bark oil). Consult the label to determine the appropriate carrier.

Caution -
Use product labeled for aquatic use if potential exists for solution to contact surface waters. Applications can result in bare ground as imazapyr is not selective and can remain in the soil for several months to over a year depending on application rate. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided, as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants.
Type -
Hack-and-squirt

User Type -
Novice

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
glyphosate

Common product name:
Roundup Pro; many others (Aquatic: Rodeo; AquaNeat)
Rate -
(spot) For a 3 lb a.e./gal product. 50 - 100% (1.5 - 3 lb a.e./gal)

Timing -
Apply any time of year.

Caution -
Use product labeled for aquatic use if potential exists for solution to contact surface waters. Applications can result in bare ground as glyphosate is not selective. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided, as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants.
Type -
Hack-and-squirt

User Type -
Professional

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
picloram

Common product name:
Tordon 22K; Trooper 22K
Rate -
(spot) 50% (1 lb a.e./gal)

Timing -
Apply any time of year, except during drought conditions.

Caution -
Do not apply directly to water or to areas where surface water is present. Use of this chemical in areas where soils are permeable, particularly where the water table is shallow, may result in groundwater contamination. Remains in the soil for over one year depending on application rate and has the potential to contaminate surface runoff water during this timeframe. Maintenance of a vegetative buffer strip is recommended between the areas picloram is applied and surface water features. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants. Do not compost treated plants as herbicide can persist through composting process.
Type -
Basal bark

User Type -
Novice

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
triclopyr

Common product name:
Garlon 4; Element 4 (Aquatic: Garlon 3A; Element 3A)
Rate -
(spot) 1 - 5% in oil (0.04 - 0.2 lb a.e./gal)

Timing -
Apply any time of year.

Remarks -
Products containing this active ingredient can have different instructions for mixing. Labels will recommend mixing the product in a water or oil based carrier (e.g. basal bark oil). Consult the label to determine the appropriate carrier.

Caution -
Use product labeled for aquatic use if potential exists for solution to contact surface waters. Use of this chemical in areas where soils are permeable, particularly where the water table is shallow, may result in groundwater contamination. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants.
Type -
Basal bark

User Type -
Professional

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
imazapyr

Common product name:
Stalker (Aquatic: Habitat; Imazapyr 2sl)
Rate -
(spot) 6 - 12% in oil (0.1 - 0.25 lb a.e./gal)

Timing -
Apply any time of year.

Remarks -
Products containing this active ingredient can have different instructions for mixing. Labels will recommend mixing the product in a water or oil based carrier (e.g. basal bark oil). Consult the label to determine the appropriate carrier.

Caution -
Use product labeled for aquatic use if potential exists for solution to contact surface waters. Applications can result in bare ground as imazapyr is not selective and can remain in the soil for several months to over a year depending on application rate. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided, as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants.