Honeysuckle berries

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honeysuckle berriesWhat is the “Wild” Shrub with the Bright Red Berries People in the eastern
half of the state have been reporting shrubs with bright red berries growing
wild. The berries are clustered around the stem and the leaves are still a
bright green color. These are likely one of two species of bush honeysuckle,
Amur or Tatarian. Each species can reach 6 to 20 feet tall.
This landscape shrub has become a serious understory invasive throughout the
Midwest from eastern Kansas to Ohio. Many states have it on their noxious
weeds list. All of our native honeysuckles are vines, similar to the vining
Japanese honeysuckle.
Amur and Tatarian honeysuckles are very noticeable in the spring as they put
out leaves much earlier than most other trees and shrubs. Leaves also stay
green much later into the fall. This long growing season gives it a
competitive advantage over other native species, and the vigorous growth can
take over a woodland understory, reducing the number of native woodland
wildflowers and other shrubs. If you want to promote native species on your
property, then controlling bush honeysuckles is needed. Honeysuckle
seedlings can be readily hand pulled when the soil is damp. Chemical control
is needed for larger infestations, as cutting alone results in vigorous
resprouting. Foliar applications of glyphosate (i.e., Roundup) in late
summer and fall works well as does applications of Crossbow (2,4-D +
triclopyr). Treating cut stumps with Tordon RTU (picloram), or concentrated
(20% – 50%) glyphosate is also quite effective. Several studies have shown
basal spraying with triclopyr (Garlon) not to be effective, while basal applications with 2,4-D or
picloram products work well, using an oil carrier to penetrate the bark.
Please follow all label instructions when using pesticides.

 

By: Charlie Barden and Ward Upham

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