Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Doing in Buckthorn Without Glyphosate

Doing in Buckthorn Without Glyphosate

When buckthorn is young, one or two years old, it can be pulled up with the rest of the weeds.

I had some older Buckthorn that grew within the vegetative strip by the creek. I wouldn’t pull out anything that will grow there because the roots hold the bank in place. (I garden and pay property taxes on the banks of Bell Creek where big storm surges come when it rains- the water rises 10 feet or more when there is a heavy rain. Instead of soaking into the ground upstream, rain hits hard surfaces. Storm sewers deliver large amounts of water to the creek. Here, downstream, storm surges scour the banks causing erosion. Eggs of wild life and fish wash downstream. No fish live here. We do get to hear the sound of peepers and american toads in spring.)

Those who would take out invasive plants, people who want to restore our ecosystems, and there are many wonderful folks who do this, many of them use glyphosate, commonly used is Monsanto’s Roundup.

I cut off 15 year old buckthorn plants at about 3 feet high. I tried painting the stumps with chlorine bleach instead of Glyphospate. My immune system is very sensitive and breathing glyphosate brings out a number of unfortunate symptoms.

The next spring, leaves came out on the stumps. I stripped the leaves in spring and in the fall every year. It has been four years and the stumps no longer put out leaves, are taken for dead. (Though buckthorn has adaptations that have fooled me before)

Buckthorn is the last to leaf fall in fall and the first to leaf out in the spring. (Very clever adaptation, that) I am assuming from observation that buckthorn is dependent on the sunlight it receives during those times when the leaves are off of higher canopy trees. No leaves, no chlorophyll, no buckthorn. I’m pretty sure that is how it goes.

Next, I will see about the honey suckle.