Common Name: Bush Honeysuckles
Scientific Name: Lonicera mackii (Rubr.) Maxim; L. morrowii Gray; L. tartarica L.; L. X bella Zabel
The four species of bush honeysuckle that cause most invasive problems (Amur, Morrow's, Tartarian, and Belle) will be referred to as bush honeysuckle. Belle honeysuckle is a hybrid cross between Tartarian and Morrow's honeysuckles and has many characteristics of both parents. These shrubs are frequently used for landscaping and to improve wildlife habitats; they have become naturalized in many areas of Tennessee. All are members of the Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle) family.
The bush honeysuckles are similar to Canadian honeysuckle (Lonicera canadensis Bartr.), red honeysuckle (Lonicera dioica L.), yellow honeysuckle (Lonicera flava Sims.), grape honeysuckle (Lonicera reticulata Raf.), coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus Moench), and bush-honeysuckle (Diervilla sessilifolia Buckl.). Canadian honeysuckle grows at high elevations and reaches a maximum height of 2 m (6.5 ft). The remainder of the native honeysuckles are twining vine species and morphologically distinct. Coralberry has slender purple to brown twigs and the leaves of D. sessilifolia(Buckl.) are lanceolate and finely toothed.
The bush honeysuckles are tolerant of a variety of edaphic and environmental conditions. Typical habitats include disturbed successional communities, wetlands, prairie, woodland edges, and partially closed forests. Most communities found in natural areas have the potential to support a population of one of the bush honeysuckle species. These shrubs are moderately shade tolerant, taking advantage of canopy gaps created by wind throw or insect defoliation. Honeysuckle bushes are commonly found growing under trees, tall shrubs, and along fence rows that act as perch sites for birds.
Grubbing: This method is appropriate for small initial populations or environmentally sensitive areas where herbicides cannot be used. Using a pulaski or similar digging tool remove the entire plant, including all roots. Juvenile plants can be hand pulled depending on soil conditions and root development. Larger stems, up to 6 cm (2.5 in), can be removed using a Weed Wrench or similar uprooting tools. Any portions of the root system not removed may resprout. All plant parts, including mature fruit, should be bagged and disposed of to prevent reestablishment.
Foliar Spray Method: This method should be considered for large thickets of bush honeysuckle where risk to non-target species is minimal. Air temperature should be above 65°F to ensure absorption of herbicides.
Glyphosate: Apply a 2% solution of glyphosate and water plus a 0.5% non-ionic surfactant to thoroughly wet all leaves. Use a low pressure and coarse spray pattern to reduce spray drift damage to non-target species. Glyphosate is a non-selective systemic herbicide that may kill non-target partially-sprayed plants.
Triclopyr: Apply a 2% solution of triclopyr and water plus a 0.5% non-ionic surfactant to thoroughly wet all leaves. Use a low pressure and coarse spray pattern to reduce spray drift damage to non-target species. Triclopyr is a selective herbicide for broadleaf species. In areas where desirable grasses are growing under or around bush honeysuckle, triclopyr can be used without non-target damage.
Cut Stump Method: This control method should be considered when treating individual bushes or where the presence of desirable species precludes foliar application. This treatment is effective as long as the ground is not frozen.
Glyphosate: Horizontally cut bush honeysuckle stems at or near ground level. Immediately apply a 25% solution of glyphosate and water to the cut stump, covering the outer 20% of the stump.
Triclopyr: Horizontally cut bush honeysuckle stems at or near ground level. Immediately apply a 25% solution of triclopyr and water to the cut stump, covering the outer 20% of the stump.
Basal Bark Method: This method is effective throughout the year as long as the ground is not frozen. Apply a mixture of 25% triclopyr and 75% horticultural oil to the basal parts of the shrub to a height of 30-38 cm (12-15 in) from the ground. Thorough wetting is necessary for good control; spray until run-off is noticeable at the ground line.
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