Mar. 30, 2017

glossy buckthorn, Frangula alnus

The other day I was reading an online item about a mercury spike in the great lakes. At the bottom of the page you could click to find out what happened to Hurley from the TV show Lost. Pollution everywhere! I was reminded of buckthorn. When I first saw the fen at Ives Preserve, it was almost all open land. Over the next 15 years, it was invaded by buckthorn. Virtually no open land was left. This Eurasian invader produces many berries, and is then spread as fast as the birds can carry them. The good part happened next. Volunteers and to some extent paid staff set to work. The entire 700 acre preserve has now been cleared of invaders! A monumental effort culminating in BVD - buckthorn victory day! We all crowded around and took a swipe at the last big one. If you see this one, KILL IT! This species has now invaded, at a minimum, CO, CT, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, TN, VT, WI, WV, WY, MB, NB, NS, ON, PE, QC, and SK. Lenawee Co MI, 6/8/13.