Buckthorn is an invasive species that spreads quickly through its roots and berries, overtaking all other native plants. The City encourages residents to remove buckthorn from their own property to maintain and protect the ecological habitat.
Buckthorn Removal Process
It's important to be familiar with the removal process before attempting it, since the process should change depending on the size of the plant. Small seedlings can be removed by hand, while large shrubs must be cut with a handsaw as close to the ground as possible and then sprayed with a powerful herbicide containing glyphosate or triclopyr. Fall is the best season to remove buckthorn as the plants retain leaves longer than others, making them easier to identify.
The City offers a Buckthorn pickup program and removal tools for residents to use free of charge (the links to these request forms are operational the third week of May - third week of October). For additional tips and removal methods, please read our Buckthorn Brochure Friends of the Parks - A Guide to Buckthorn Busting (PDF).
Buckthorn Pickup for Residents
The City's Public Works Department offers a pickup service for buckthorn branches, leaves, and root waste on Fridays from May to October. To utilize this service, submit the Buckthorn Pickup Request form by 12pm on Thursdays the week of pickup. Form submissions after 12 p.m. on Thursdays will result in pickup on Friday of the following week. Residents are required to place the buckthorn in neat, manageable piles along the street curb. Please note that only buckthorn will be accepted; please ensure the Buckthorn Pick up Procedures (PDF) are be followed.
Buckthorn Removal Tool (Weed Wrench):
Arden Hills residents can reserve a buckthorn removal tool (weed wrench) that can be used for one week at a time. City staff will confirm your reservation and availability upon receipt of the request. There is no fee for use of this tool.
Alternative Disposal Options for Buckthorn
Ramsey County’s Arden Hills / New Brighton compost site accepts buckthorn. They are located off of New Brighton Road at 3530 Hudson Avenue. Please remove any roots from the buckthorn plants that are to be picked up or brought to the yard waste site. The Ramsey County yard waste collection sites do not accept buckthorn plants with roots attached. Please place the roots in a yard waste container provided by your garbage hauler. Call your hauler for more information.
For more information, please contact Jeff Frid at 651-792-7852. For more information on what Buckthorn is and why it is a problem, please view the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website.