How to Kill Buckthorn: Effective Ways to Get Rid of this Pesky Weed

Some species of buckthorn can function as ornamental plants in the garden. Most of them, however, will be invasive and pesky weeds. They are not only unsightly, but can also affect the other plants that you have. That being said, a lot of people are interested to know how to kill buckthorn. If you are curious about how to do this, the rest of this post has the answer.

Similar to the control and elimination of other types of weeds, you can choose from natural and chemical approaches. Obviously, the natural methods are the ones that are preferred. Nonetheless, especially if the infestation is severe, there are instances wherein using chemical control can prove to be tempting.

How To Kill Buckthorn Naturally

The physical removal of buckthorn is one of the solutions that you might want to consider. This will require quite an effort on your end, but this is effective. You have to know how buckthorn looks like so that you will know which ones to remove. If the plant is more than 3/8-inch in diameter, on the other hand, hand-pulling will be a difficult task.

There are some ways to make the hand removal of buckthorn a lot easier. For instance, you can do this when the ground is wet, which will make pulling out a lot easier. The use of large pliers can also make it easier. You can also dig the ground first using a shovel, shake the buckthorn vigorously, and finally, pull it out of the ground.

Kill Buckthorn

The Use of Large Pliers can also Make It Easier

Burning is another method that is common when it comes to buckthorn control. Nonetheless, this is one thing that I am personally against of as it can pose more dangers, especially if you are unable to control the scope of the fire. Plus, some buckthorns are also too thick, and hence, burning them will not help.

How to Kill Buckthorn with Chemical

The mere mention of chemical control might already upset many people, but such control methods can also be effective in killing buckthorn. Make sure to follow the right steps and use the right chemicals to enjoy a high level of success. When physical removal becomes an impractical choice, using chemical is the next best thing that you have to consider.

If you will use chemicals, the first thing that you need to do is to cut the buckthorn. Also, be sure that you are dressed properly for the job. Protect your eyes, face, and skin since the chemicals can be harsh and can cause irritation.

Kill Buckthorn with Chemical

Dip a Paintbrush and Apply It on the Buckthorn that You have Earlier Cut

There are many chemicals that promise to be effective in killing buckthorn, but I recommend that you opt for those that contain at least 25% glyphosate or triclopyr. Mix it with water. Rather than spraying the solution, dip a paintbrush and apply it on the buckthorn that you have earlier cut. This will prevent the chemical from reaching other plants that you do not wish to kill.

You can also use chemicals for foliar treatment to kill buckthorn. In this case, however, you have to use a chemical with weaker triclopyr or glyphosate, which should have a concentration of only 2%. Spray it directly on the buckthorn. For the best outcomes, be sure that you do not spray the solution when it is windy so that the chemicals will not reach other plants.


At this point, I hope that you are already aware of how to kill buckthorn. As noted, you can try physical solutions, but they can be tedious and frustrating. Chemical controls hold a lot of promise, but they can be toxic and can affect other plants. With this, the best control measure is to prevent them from being in your yard.


  1. James Parker January 18, 2020
    • Homyden February 19, 2020

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