About Tim Rowland

Tim Rowland is a columnist, author and outdoors writer living in Jay.

Reader Interactions


  1. Brandi says

    I’ve been eradicating invasive buckthorn in Wisconsin for about 2 years. Thank you for your article and descriptions!
    I am using the same techniques for buckthorn removal and for the restoration of native plant and tree species. The buckthorn emits emodin and this is harmful to the native vegetation and it is harmful to amphibians.

  2. Dennis Bates says

    Our Chittenden county forester suggested we use a product called “Buckthorn Blaster” to control buckthorn. The Blaster is actually an application method that uses a small bottle of herbicide to paint freshly cut stems . There is zero overspray or fumes but gloves need to be worn for protection. A sturdy cap protects the spongey applicator tip. Glyphosate (or RoundUp) Is the active ingredient and a bit of colored dye will show what’s treated and what’s not.
    No it’s not organic but a formidable and safe method to get a tricky job done. It is marketed by a group promoting control of invasives and can be found on the web.

  3. nathan says

    Making a tripod out of 4×4 posts and a come along or cable puller and a couple short chains. Can make pulling stumps manually much easier and safer.
    I even use a tow strap around a tree, chain stump and use come along to rip stump without tripod, but lifting straight up is easier. Also 2 4×4 posts with steel plates to bolt together. attack chain to stump, come along and strap to tree, wedge the 4×4 at angle and as rachet tight it transfer from side pull to a lift up and works better or use old tire and rim to change from side to lifting pull.
    To kill stumps without manmade chemicals, a good dose of vinegar acidifies soil enough for awhile to kill roots or a good dose of ammonia and it dissipates into fertilizer after. I have been fighting Japanese honey suckle and roses for years and i try not to use forever poisons.
    I hope that info might help some to get invasives removed. its not easy especially on your own with any amount on problem plants.

  4. Santo Omar de Los Arboles says

    Bravo to these volunteers—a nasty job for sure, though so important to keep things right for the ongoing health of the ecosystem. Keep up the good work, folks! (Thankfully there is no mention of knotweed, which is a far worse scourge, IMO). Also a good tip in here from Nathan re. pulling plants out, roots and all. Personally, I enjoy the satisfaction of chaining an autumn olive or burning bush to my truck and yanking it out, LOL.
    As for the use of so-called horticultural-strength vinegar for killing weeds or invasives, it is NOT harmless, natural nor safe near any place that is anywhere close to fish or amphibians; it is extremely caustic and changes the soil chemistry. See this for more info (to clarify, I have nothing to do with this site, just trying to get the word out): https://empressofdirt.net/does-vinegar-kill-weeds/
    Don’t know about ammonia, though I would not do that either before conducting more research.

  5. Bethany says

    Really appreciate the thoughtful people attending to invasives. I’ve had some personal experience with the harmful impacts of chemicals poisoning our water and know enough to be opposed to their use in any amount (consider upstream impacts of the employees producing it, dump sites, etc.) Additionally, they don’t cure the problem as invasives come back anyway…

    I’ve been digging deep below to uncover the entire root structure of buckthorn and removing the entire thing. Getting a start at a patch that lays on an upward slope makes this easier. As you continue to tackle the patch it becomes much easier with the root system exposed. I use a knife and ax. Today, I removed a 12-foot tree, a couple 6-footers, and half a garbage bag full of roots in 2 1/2 hours. Daunting but completely effective. I’m brainstorming ideas to sell the resource as a way of problem-solving for the massive time commitment this will take. Buckthorn is good for fire wood, home decor trees and branches..the roots make excellent fire starters if you put a soy covered wax wick in them…anyone else thinking of ways to view invasives as resource??

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