Foes of the Forest

Emerald Ash Borer

“I’d turn back if I were you”

Common Buckthorn

Emerald Ash Borer

Through time, the ash trees in our woodland areas have fallen prey to the invasion of the Emerald Ash Borer. This beetle-like insect lays eggs within the tree and feeds on it under its bark destroying and eventually killing the tree. It’s responsible for destroying millions of trees throughout the US and Canada.

Here’s evidence that its been in our woods. While we’ve cut down several dead ash trees on our property already, there are many that remain.

Common Buckthorn

Another natural occurrence in our woodland area has been the invasion of Common Buckthorn. This plant poses an ecological threat in Wisconsin as it invades woodland and other natural areas. It chokes out understory plants as well as has an aggressive and extensive root system that can alter the soil composition leading to other invasive and non-native plants such as garlic mustard.

Here is what Buckthorn looks like. It has glossy rounded leaves that come to a point. It can have multiple stems at its base and an open crown with many spreading branches that contain thorns. Its fruit contain seeds that can remain fertile in the soil for up to 3 years.

You can see how a forest of them has stopped any understory growth and choked out native trees. The last photo shows the berries it leaves on the ground.

Our coming blogs will address how we met these challenges and what we’re doing to restore a healthy forest floor.

“More grows in the garden than the gardener sows.”

Spanish Proverb
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