Invasive Honeysuckle

I have noticed that the Amur Honeysuckle, an extremely invasive species, have started to leaf out.  These plants were introduced into the US as an ornamental shrub and also promoted for erosion control.  See the Ohio DNR website for more information on the plant.

The hills around Cincinnati are covered in them where they have out-competed our native woodland species.  For me personally I am trying to rid my entire property of them, which is easier said than done.  They are shallowly rooted so pulling them up is the best way to get rid of them.  However, when you have a ten foot tall plant, the roots are well established so it is hard to do by hand.  For those I cut them off close to the ground and I try to go back to cut off any side shoots that reemerge.  I try not to use any chemicals around my property so persistence is the best way to get rid of them.  My neighbor to the East has said that he pulls them as well but he has 4+ acres, although he has a tractor with a bucket to help pull them.

I was recently talking to someone who goes out and cuts down the honeysuckle where it blocks the view from a hillside park in Cincinnati.  Some landscapers even advertise removal services, though I have never noticed anyone removing large amounts of it.  A tool known as the “Honeysuckle Popper” has been developed to combat the species.  I’m not going to spend $140 to help clear my property, but if I had more land I think it could be worth the investment.