Managing buckthorn with trees


Through MITPPC-funded research, Reich’s team has established that densely revegetating woodlands can suppress buckthorn reestablishment by blocking a large majority of incoming light. Whether this can be done operationally and cost-effectively at the scale of management remains unknown.

The research team will carry out large-scale experiments with native tree, shrub, and herbaceous species to determine the degree of revegetation necessary to block out buckthorn reestablishment and determine the associated costs of this strategy.

View of forest canopy from below

Research questions

  • What density of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous species is most effective at suppressing buckthorn regeneration?
  • What is the response of buckthorn of both buckthorn and native vegetation to these treatments?
  • What are the most cost-effective and practical methods for revegetation?

Practical implications

The outcomes of this research may provide affordable and practical solutions for land managers to establish native plant communities after buckthorn removal.