After three hours we had filled 13 bags of this prickly shrub to store for drying and eventual burning. We cleaned all of Huron and the first part of Paubawme, leaving only a few very large shrubs which will require larger equipment for removal. Several more pulls will be required to clear out the majority of this shrub in an effort to get it under control.
This is just the beginning of what will be a struggle to get these invasive shrubs out of Cobmoosa Shores. For more information about Japanese barberry and other plants problematic in Michigan, visit the online guide “Michigan State University Extension Field Identification Guide to Invasive Plants.”
We ask every property owner in Cobmoosa to remove any Japanese barberry in their yard as soon as they spot it. This shrub has no major predators and will spread easily via seeds, underground roots, and stems rooting when they bend over and touch the soil. Hand pull or dig young plants, removing all roots if possible. Target mature shrubs that provide a source of seed. Avoid using herbicides as they can kill nearby native species. Bag up plants to dry in the sun and/or burn. Do not compost unless plants are completely dried out and no fruits are in evidence.
Watch for signs and eNewsletters about future barberry pulls!
With your help we can stop the spread of this invasive species in Cobmoosa Shores and serve as an example of what can be accomplished when people work together to preserve our native plant and animal communities.