July 2001
Plant of the Month
Hedge Plants
(Syringa Persian)
shrub
zone: 4
by Mary Maguire Lerman

PROMOTE HEDGE PLANTS TO REPLACE THOSE OLD BUCKTHORN HEDGES

Over the last several months my office has been receiving numerous envelopes labelled: "Buckthorn Replacement Hedges Request." A single news release sent out to Minneapolis and neighborhood papers offering a free copy of the MNLA fact sheet on replacement hedges generated a huge response from the public. All that was required was for the property owner to send us a stamped,self-addressed envelope. Our education efforts are working and a good portion of the public is aware of the environmental chaos buckthorn is causing. They are ready to remove their buckthorn hedges on their properties, however, they want to know about potential replacement plants. After all, hedges are a desirable addition to many landscapes as they provide privacy without the use of impervious surfaces such as fences or walls. Plus, a "living" fence or wall can provide seasonal interest with flowers, fruits, foliage color and potential bird nests.

In 1999, Nancy Rose with editing by the MNLA Plant Committee, wrote a detailed Northern Gardener sheet on hedges for the landscape entitled "Hedge Plants for the Upper Midwest." Since January 2000, MNLA has had available for your purchase and for your customer's perusal this great fact sheet. Now is the time for you to order in stock of this sheet and also to stock and advertise a variety of hedge plants for the 2002 growing season. Why? The public is ready to remove their buckthorn and they want replacement hedges!

The cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have been awarded a USDA Forest Service Grant for Woody Invasive Species Control. This grant will provide funding for education and removal of woody invasives such as buckthorn and mulberry from both public and private lands. Mini grants to select neighborhoods in these two cities will provide assistance for removal of woody invasives from private properties near public parklands that are being cleared of invasives. Master Gardeners will be involved in surveys and education and neighborhoods will sponsor "buckthorn roundups."

Here is how you can get involved:

The MNLA hedge fact sheet promotes buckthorn removal on the front page. You can assist by obtaining a fact sheet from your local garden center. Working together, nurseries, property owners and public property managers can show how we can restore native habitats when the woody invasives are removed.

Mary Maguire Lerman
Mpls. Park and Recreation Board








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