removing invasive shrub

Asked May 1, 2016, 11:12 AM EDT

Several years ago, a bird planted a shrub in my St Paul backyard (photo attached). Someone told me it is a purple sand cherry. It is about 6-7 feet tall and has green foliage this time of year which turns purple later in the summer. This shrub is now spreading everywhere -- there are three major tree-like trunks and hundreds of suckers in close proximity. It is invading my veggie garden and the neighbor's yard. It appears to spread by sending up new shoots from its roots. I want to remove it all, but it is very difficult to dig up. Do you know what it is and can you recommend a way to remove it? Thank you. Barb Thoman

Ramsey County Minnesota invasive plants

1 Response

This could be a black cherry but in any case, these plants can be invasive. Their seeds sprout readily, and they sucker along their roots. Even if you manage to remove the main plant, new trees will continue to grow from the suckers. Your best bet is to remove the main bush as best you can, and cut off all of the suckering shoots. Immediately paint a brush-killer that contains triclopyr on all freshly cut surfaces. The chemical will translocate along the roots and will kill off any new shoots.

Good luck!