Bush Honeysuckle
Bush Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii), also known as Amur honeysuckle, is one of the most destructive invasive species in the St. Louis region. The Garden recently created a new bush honeysuckle brochure to increase public awareness of this issue and encourage citizens of our region to take notice and take action. This page on invasive bush honeysuckle provides complimentary information for the brochure, including expanded content on its origins and impacts, detailed instructions for control, native plants that are similar in appearance, and suggested landscaping alternatives.
Honeysuckle History

Bush Honeysuckle Removal and Control

When: Bush honeysuckle can be removed any time of the year. However, early spring and late fall are ideal for locating and removing this invasive shrub, since it has leaves when our native shrubs and trees do not. Once you develop an eye for the yellowish-green leaves of bush honeysuckle in late fall, this time of the year is ideal for detecting isolated shrubs and removing them before the infestation expands.

How: There are multiple effective methods of removing bush honeysuckle. Selecting the right approach depends upon a number of factors, such as the area covered by the invasion, the size of the plants to be removed, and your personal capabilities and preferences. These instructions are intended to provide homeowners and volunteers information necessary to take action against bush honeysuckle. Some additional methods for controlling large-scale infestations used by professional contractors and conservation organizations with highly specialized equipment and experience are not addressed.

Bush Honeysuckle Literature Cited

(1) Luken, J. O., and J. W. Thieret. 1996. Amur honeysuckle, Its fall from grace: Lessons from the introduction and spread of a shrub species may guide future plant introductions. BioScience 46:18-24.

(2) Collier, M. H., J. L. Vankat, and M. R. Hughes. 2002. Diminished plant richness and abundance below Lonicera maackii, an invasive shrub. The American Midland Naturalist 147:60-71.

(3) Hartman, K. M., and B. C. McCarthy. 2008. Changes in forest structure and species composition following invasion by a non-indigenous shrub, Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii). The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 135:245-259.

(4) Miller, K. E., and D. L. Gorchov. 2004. The invasive shrub, Lonicera maackii, reduces growth and fecundity of perennial forest herbs. Oecologia 139:359-375.

(5) Gorchov, D., and D. Trisel. 2003. Competitive effects of the invasive shrub, Lonicera maackii (Rupr.) Herder (Caprifoliaceae), on the growth and survival of native tree seedlings. Plant Ecology 166:13-24.

(6) Boyce, R. L. 2009. Invasive Shrubs and Forest Tree Regeneration. Journal of Sustainable Forestry 28:152-217.

(7) Hartman, K. M., and B. C. McCarthy. 2007. A dendro-ecological study of forest overstory productivity following the invasion of the non-indigenous shrub Lonicera maackii. Applied Vegetation Science 10:3-14.

(8) Missouri Department of Conservation. Missouri Forest Facts. (http://mdc.mo.gov/about-us/department-details/missouri-forest-facts). Accessed online, February 2, 2016.

(9) Dorning, M., and D. Cipollini. 2006. Leaf and root extracts of the invasive shrub, Lonicera maackii, inhibit seed germination of three herbs with no autotoxic effects. Plant Ecology 184:287-296.

(10) Cipollini, D., R. Stevenson, S. Enright, A. Eyles, and P. Bonello. 2008. Phenolic Metabolites in Leaves of the Invasive Shrub, Lonicera maackii, and Their Potential Phytotoxic and Anti-Herbivore Effects. Journal of Chemical Ecology 34:144-152.

(11) McEwan, R. W., L. G. Arthur-Paratley, L. K. Rieske, and M. A. Arthur. 2010. A multi-assay comparison of seed germination inhibition by Lonicera maackii and co-occurring native shrubs. Flora - Morphology, Distribution, Functional Ecology of Plants 205:475-483.

(12) Bauer, J., S. Shannon, R. Stoops, and H. Reynolds. 2012. Context dependency of the allelopathic effects of Lonicera maackii on seed germination. Plant Ecology 213:1907-1916.

(13) Fargen, C., S. M. Emery, and M. M. Carreiro. 2015. Influence of Lonicera maackii Invasion on Leaf Litter Decomposition and Macroinvertebrate Communities in an Urban Stream. Natural Areas Journal 35:392-403.

(14) Watling, J. I., C. R. Hickman, and J. L. Orrock. 2011. Invasive shrub alters native forest amphibian communities. Biological Conservation 144:2597-2601.

(15) Bartuszevige, A., and D. Gorchov. 2006. Avian Seed Dispersal of an Invasive Shrub. Biological Invasions 8:1013-1022.

(16) Smith, S. B., S. A. DeSando, and T. Pagano. 2013. The Value of Native and Invasive Fruit-Bearing Shrubs for Migrating Songbirds. Northeastern Naturalist 20:171-184.

(17) Schmidt, K. A., and C. J. Whelan. 1999. Effects of Exotic Lonicera and Rhamnus on Songbird Nest Predation. Conservation Biology 13:1502-1506.

(18) Rodewald, A., D. Shustack, and L. Hitchcock. 2010. Exotic shrubs as ephemeral ecological traps for nesting birds. Biological Invasions 12:33-39.

(19) Allan, B. F., H. P. Dutra, L. S. Goessling, K. Barnett, J. M. Chase, R. J. Marquis, G. Pang, G. A. Storch, R. E. Thach, and J. L. Orrock. 2010. Invasive honeysuckle eradication reduces tick-borne disease risk by altering host dynamics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107:18523-18527.

(20) Gardner, A. M., B. F. Allan, L. A. Frisbie, and E. J. Muturi. 2015. Asymmetric effects of native and exotic invasive shrubs on ecology of the West Nile virus vector Culex pipiens (Diptera: Culicidae). Parasite Vectors 8:329.

(21) US Forest Service. Amur Honeysuckle. (http://www.na.fs.fed.us/fhp/invasive_plants/weeds/amur-honeysuckle.pdf) Accessed online, February 2, 2016.

(22) Hartman, K. M., and B. C. McCarthy. 2004. Restoration of a Forest Understory After the Removal of an Invasive Shrub, Amur Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii). Restoration Ecology 12:154-165.

(23) Rathfon, R., and K. Ruble. 2007. Herbicide treatments for controlling invasive bush honeysuckle in a mature hardwood forest in West-Central Indiana. Tech. Rep. SRS–101. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station: 187-197.

(24) Langeland, K. A., and L. A. Gettys. 2006. Safe Use of Glyphosate-Containing Products in Aquatic and Upland Natural Areas. Tech. Rep. SS-AGR-104. Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, University of Florida. IFAS Extension.

(25) Kline, V. 1981. Control of honeysuckle and buckthorn in oak forests. Restoration and Management Notes 1:18.

(26) Schulz, K. E., J. Wright, and S. Ashbaker. 2012. Comparison of Invasive Shrub Honeysuckle Eradication Tactics for Amateurs: Stump Treatment versus Regrowth Spraying of Lonicera maackii. Restoration Ecology 20:788-793.