Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

An investigation of the invasive shrub European Buckthorn, Rhamnus cathartica L., near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Abstract

Introduced to Saskatchewan, Canada, in the 1930s as a potential shelterbelt species, European buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) is now a predominant understorey shrub in riparian woodlands, aspen (Populus tremuloides) groves and prairie shrub communities around Saskatoon. The oldest shrub found was 56 years. Approximately 90% of fruits and seeds collected in seed traps during 1995-96 were dispersed directly beneath the canopy of mature shrubs. The mean germination rate was 85%, with a mean emergence time of 42 days. The seed bank beneath mature shrubs averaged 620 seed/m2 and was composed entirely of European buckthorn seeds. However, little evidence was found of allelopathic properties. Cutting, and the application of Round-up [glyphosate] to stems and Garlon 4 [triclopyr] to basal bark were the most effective methods of controlling European buckthorn.