Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

Buckthorn is a shrub or a small tree growing up to 20-25' tall. It has gray to brown bark and when cut it will reveal yellow sapwood and orange heartwood. Twigs often end up to be small sharp spines.

Leaves: Leaves are oval with tiny teeths and veins curving toward the tips. They will stay green very late into fall.

Flowers: Small greenish yellow leaves will bloom in May and June.

Fruits & Seeds: Female trees produce many clusters of round black pea-sized fruit.

Roots: Extensive fibrous root system.

Ecological threats

  • Buckthorn invades forests, woodlands, oak savannas, prairies, fields, and roadsides.
  • It leaves out very early, thus blocking sunlight to lower plants and will keep leaves very late in the season.

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