We have a huge pile of buckthorn to dispose of. Can we burn it in the...

Asked October 16, 2014, 3:19 PM EDT

We have a huge pile of buckthorn to dispose of. Can we burn it in the vegetable garden without leaving toxins behind in the soil? Should the ashes be removed or could they be worked into the soil? Thank you.

Anoka County Minnesota buckthorn ashes horticulture

4 Responses

You are probably ok to leave them on the garden if you spread them around. Ashes do not contain toxins and by all means work them into the soil. The only caution is if you plan to grow potatoes then keep them away. Check http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/wood-ash-can-be-useful-yard-if-used-caution for more information.

Thank you for the response, it helped me clarify my question. I've added wood ashes in the garden for the good reasons you gave. But should I worry about the ashes from buckthorn in vegetable garden? Does fire destroy the neurotoxins and glycosides from the plant? Or would the chemicals remain in the garden and be taken up by the vegetables? Thanks for your help and understanding my caution. http://neuromuscular.wustl.edu/nother/toxic.htm

Fire will destroy the neurotoxins and glycosides from the plant. Chemicals remaining in the garden are only the carbon and potash which is why I cautioned you about potatoes.

Excellent! Thank you, Dennis. I wish "ask a master gardener" had been around that year I planted potatoes... We have a family member with neuropathy from a side-effect of the antibiotic, levaquin, so I'm pretty gun-shy. I'm off to get a burning permit and continue the slaying of buckthorn. Judy, Anoka County