What started out as an ornamental hedgerow material brought over from Europe in the 1800s, common or European buckthorn can now be found in just about every county in Minnesota. Buckthorn is one of the first plants to leaf out in the spring and last to lose its leaves in the fall, allowing it to do a spectacular job at outcompeting and preventing the growth of native species.
Picture yourself as a Conservation Corps crew member coming into work at good ole’ Hamm’s, not fully knowing what your project for the day will be. You’re anticipating some heavy sawing of green ash or additional removal of your best friend, Buckthorn (Rhamnus Cathartica). To your surprise, your crew was assigned to do trail maintenance at Pine Bend Elementary, a School Forest institution.