.....and Vilas County is in the path of these very aggressive invaders!

While distinctly different species, both have similar characteristics:

 Fast growing woody shrubs/small trees spread primarily by birds attracted to seeds during fall and winter
 Spread unintentionally from cultivated areas (ornamental plantings) to nearby forested or semi-forested areas
 Cause long-term decline of forests by shading out native plants and creating a dense understory layer
 Compete with native plants for pollinators, reducing seed set of native plants
 Degrade wildlife habitat
Leaves remain green late into the fall
Birds feed on berries through fall and winter

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These plants can be difficult to detect for the untrained eye during their early years of growth as they can blend inconspicuously among other trees and shrubs, especially in densely vegetated settings, and may not produce berries for several years. Their presence becomes more obvious over time as they become more dominant in a given site or as they begin producing fruit.

Fall is an excellent time to detect both species as their leaves remain attached and green after other leaves have fallen. The Vilas County Terrestrial Invasive Species initiative is asking the public to be on the lookout and to report any suspicious findings. Bush honeysuckle is known to be widespread throughout the county, but buckthorn is thought to be relatively rare other than some known sites in the immediate Eagle River area.

Please report findings to the Vilas County Invasive Species Coordinator. Accompanying GPS coordinates are very helpful when possible, but addresses and descriptions of locations should always be provided. Close up digital photos are also helpful in species identification.

The Vilas County Terrestrial Invasive Species initiative is moving in the direction of establishing a formal “Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA)”. This will be a partnership of all categories of land owners from Federal to private properties for the purpose of collectively detecting and managing the most threatening of invasive plants. More information about the CWMA will be provided in coming months. For now, public participation in locating and mapping established high priority invasive plants is very important.

A new brochure entitled Terrestrial Invasive Plants of concern to forest and wetland areas in and around Vilas County, WI is now available at the Land & Water Conservation Department in the lower level of the courthouse in Eagle River. We also have a limited supply of brochures for individual species with additional information including control options.

NOTE: Do not be tempted to eat the berries of these plants
Buckthorn berries can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Honeysuckle berries are also potentially toxic.

Vilas County Invasive Species Coordinator
330 Court Street
Eagle River, WI 54521
Phone: (715) 479-3738