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Amur Honeysuckle (Lonicera Maacki)

finelyshedded

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Supporting Member
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189
SW Ohio
Deer are interesting animals. Just on the subject of honeysuckle alone I’ve watched them use it for both cover and as browse just recently. Behind my FIL’s house which is approximately 3.5-4 acres and he too has been trying to stave off the taking over of this thick invasive bush. His health has kept him from being as vigilant as he once was but I can see it’s slowly growing back in a few places. Two incidents I witnessed last fall where I watched two different bucks methodically use what sparse locations of honeysuckle they had to navigate through the downwind edge of the property. These bushes were not in a line and spaced out like a dot to dot picture drawing of maple leaf edge so to speak. It was evident they preferred to walk as close to cover as they could if it’s available. The other incident I saw was just about 3 weeks ago I busted off a rather decent sized honeysuckle bough next to where I had a buck deer decoy setup. I laid the decoy down and laid the bough on top of it to make it look less noticeable. The afternoon before I hunted the next morning I set the decoy up and left the busted off bough lay there. The next morning I had a mature doe and her 2 lil ones walk up and eat nearly every leaf off that 3-4 day old freshly busted off bough over the live honeysuckle bushes a few yards away. Don’t know if it being easier to get to or the leaves being a little wilted was the preference but just thought it was interesting.
Incidentally his neighbor to the WSW let’s her 5 acres of woods grow and get choked up with the stuff and makes the perfect bedding area even feel safer and a constant buck cruising ground during the rut. Getting in and out of the stand without being seen by a group of bedded deer is always a challenge if they bed close to the property line. There’s pros and cons to the plant for sure but I’m just trying to use it to my advantage while not letting it overrun.
 

LonewolfNopack

Junior Member
1,005
81
The woods
Deer are interesting animals. Just on the subject of honeysuckle alone I’ve watched them use it for both cover and as browse just recently. Behind my FIL’s house which is approximately 3.5-4 acres and he too has been trying to stave off the taking over of this thick invasive bush. His health has kept him from being as vigilant as he once was but I can see it’s slowly growing back in a few places. Two incidents I witnessed last fall where I watched two different bucks methodically use what sparse locations of honeysuckle they had to navigate through the downwind edge of the property. These bushes were not in a line and spaced out like a dot to dot picture drawing of maple leaf edge so to speak. It was evident they preferred to walk as close to cover as they could if it’s available. The other incident I saw was just about 3 weeks ago I busted off a rather decent sized honeysuckle bough next to where I had a buck deer decoy setup. I laid the decoy down and laid the bough on top of it to make it look less noticeable. The afternoon before I hunted the next morning I set the decoy up and left the busted off bough lay there. The next morning I had a mature doe and her 2 lil ones walk up and eat nearly every leaf off that 3-4 day old freshly busted off bough over the live honeysuckle bushes a few yards away. Don’t know if it being easier to get to or the leaves being a little wilted was the preference but just thought it was interesting.
Incidentally his neighbor to the WSW let’s her 5 acres of woods grow and get choked up with the stuff and makes the perfect bedding area even feel safer and a constant buck cruising ground during the rut. Getting in and out of the stand without being seen by a group of bedded deer is always a challenge if they bed close to the property line. There’s pros and cons to the plant for sure but I’m just trying to use it to my advantage while not letting it overrun.
Thanks for sharing those experiences. Deer definitely will use Honeysuckle as cover and food source, but a big part of this is out of consequence rather then preference. Bush Honeysuckle has become the dominant understory woody species in almost all parts of southwest and Central ohio. Its not supposed to be there but it has found a niche and successfully outcompeted our native woody saplings and shrubs. It grows quicker and has allopathic tendencies to other vegetation. Those deer using the Honeysuckle like you mentioned probably are doing it because its the primary 'cover' left in the woods due to the invasion and infestation of non native Honeysuckle. If Honeysuckle never came (or other invasives) that woods would naturally be growing up in native shrubs like spice bush, Wahoo, Paw Paw etc....as well as many saplings from large trees. What has happened is Honeysuckle has essentially replaced our forests understory, and our forests are not functioning and growing native vegetation like they should. Even in your woods where you have removed the Honeysuckle, the impacts will last for many years most likely until natural balance restores and native understory starts to regrow, and thats if you stay vigilant with it. Also, think of Honeysuckle like us eating a Baby Ruth. It tastes so good and we love to much them down, but it has almost no nutritional values. This is especially true of the berries.
 

Spencie

Well-Known Member
4,052
128
Constitution Ohio
This is a very interesting and enlightening thread. I have always sought out honeysuckle for stand locations. Mostly because does bed and feed there. My 5 best bucks have all been killed in honeysuckle. My current 100 acres was timbered before I bought it and is now full of honeysuckle. Trying to get rid of it now would be an endless task and complete waste of time and money. The deer will have to learn to live with it. We brush hog trails through it for easy travel routes and shots.
 

LonewolfNopack

Junior Member
1,005
81
The woods
This is a very interesting and enlightening thread. I have always sought out honeysuckle for stand locations. Mostly because does bed and feed there. My 5 best bucks have all been killed in honeysuckle. My current 100 acres was timbered before I bought it and is now full of honeysuckle. Trying to get rid of it now would be an endless task and complete waste of time and money. The deer will have to learn to live with it. We brush hog trails through it for easy travel routes and shots.
Its definitely achievable to get rid of it, just have to be prepared to spend time and/or money. Here's the issue, how many young saplings do you have growing? I'm talking 5 ft or less. Your current hardwoods may not be impacted by the Honeysuckle but your future woods most definitely will.
 

Spencie

Well-Known Member
4,052
128
Constitution Ohio
100 acres is a full time job as it is. Adding more is unattainable. Like I Said I have been very successful hunting in honeysuckle. We try to keep the habitat diverse with lots of edges. Right now I think we are achieving that. But I’m definitely going to keep tabs on this thread and research this more.
 

LonewolfNopack

Junior Member
1,005
81
The woods
100 acres is a full time job as it is. Adding more is unattainable. Like I Said I have been very successful hunting in honeysuckle. We try to keep the habitat diverse with lots of edges. Right now I think we are achieving that. But I’m definitely going to keep tabs on this thread and research this more.
I've killed most of my deer in Honeysuckle as well. But again that wasn't because they preferred it as much as that's all they had available. Its hard work, sounds like you have a good game plan on your property, but definitely something to be aware of and think about.
 

LonewolfNopack

Junior Member
1,005
81
The woods
Also, as a fellow shed hunter, once this stuff starts greening up (earlier every year it seems) my shed season in the woods is pretty much shot, often times before they even loose their antlers.
 
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Spencie

Well-Known Member
4,052
128
Constitution Ohio
I always felt like that was just part of the natural process after a property was timbered. Green briers, honeysuckle, saplings, small timber, big timber. I didn’t know until a couple years ago that honeysuckle was a nonnative invasive species. It’s been a daily part of my entire life in extreme SE Ohio.
When this was logged they only took trees larger than 20”. We have some nice oaks still standing.

The bush I hate is autumn olive. I would love to eradicate all of that and whoever brought it here.
 

LonewolfNopack

Junior Member
1,005
81
The woods
I always felt like that was just part of the natural process after a property was timbered. Green briers, honeysuckle, saplings, small timber, big timber. I didn’t know until a couple years ago that honeysuckle was a nonnative invasive species. It’s been a daily part of my entire life in extreme SE Ohio.
When this was logged they only took trees larger than 20”. We have some nice oaks still standing.

The bush I hate is autumn olive. I would love to eradicate all of that and whoever brought it here.
Ironically, Autumn Olive was brought here intentionally for wildlife habitat and windbreaks and even pimped by the governments at one time. Oops.
 
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Wildlife

Member
Supporting Member
3,575
137
USA
When the honeysuckle leaves dry up around my neck of woods each year in the winter, so does the deer pretty much. They head for the thicker stuff way at the top of the big hills that surround our creek valley.

I have plentiful amount of saplings and paw-paws as well, all along our creeks banks, which are two creeks, one on each side of the property that meet up at the very back edge connecting to the main big creek.

I'm telling ya, this property is by far the most challenging, and perhaps the most fun I've ever hunted for deer in my long years, included the added large CRP fields around here too.

I found out that these honeysuckles were invasive shortly after we moved here, about five years ago.

The birds, rabbits and other wildlife species in area seem to appreciate them as well. I witness it daily around here.

Anyhow, I do manage only the ones that are well within our property lines and that's about it.

I too have photographs of the 60's, 70''s, 80's, all the way through today of this property. If I remember correctly, it was about the 80's I first recall seeing these honeysuckles start to be more prevalent around the property, but I have to go back through them to confirm.
________________________________

One example of so many that within my collection.
 
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at1010

*Supporting Member*
4,024
103
Ok I lied, I have to jump in here.

1. The argument against AO or Honeysuckle is not simply a position piece comparing deer usage or not. This is considering what our native forests (or lack thereof if this continues) will look like for our grandkids and great-grandkids.

2. As Seth has highlighted - Honeysuckle is high invasive. It will dominate mid-story canopies and if not treated before a timber harvest, you are setting up your successional habitat to be a monoculture of Honeysuckle. Not only is this bad for wildlife in the long term, but it also has a massive trickle-down impact that will negatively affect wildlife to domestic quality lumber in the future.

3. For those who are saying it is too much work and money, it is all about priority. Is removing Honeysuckle going to NET you a booner, probably not. However, I can promise you will feel GREAT after removing acres of invasives.

As I mentioned before, you can contact your NRCS office and have a free consult from a state forester. They will break up your property/farm into sections and have you treat 5-6 acres at a time. Depending on don't the terrain you can get upwards of $500+/- an acre! I did 6+ acres by myself last year treating grapevine and TOH, on the side of a hill - took time but wasn't that bad - the check was nice! Also, once you have a state drawn-up forestry plan, you can register for State or Federal tax breaks and register your property as a tree farm. Can decrease property tax by 50-60%

Lastly, once these areas are treated we are allowing our native forests to regenerate, especially after a thought-out timber harvest.

I don't blame anyone for not doing it but if anyone is interested in learning more about what I have done on our farm- DM me anytime. I know I dream of a day when I am long gone, that my son or future grandchildren sit under a white oak that only made its way through the canopy because of the work ol grandad did years before.

"A society grows strong when old me plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit"

As always - thank you all for listening.

AT
 

Wildlife

Member
Supporting Member
3,575
137
USA
Ok I lied, I have to jump in here.

1. The argument against AO or Honeysuckle is not simply a position piece comparing deer usage or not. This is considering what our native forests (or lack thereof if this continues) will look like for our grandkids and great-grandkids.

2. As Seth has highlighted - Honeysuckle is high invasive. It will dominate mid-story canopies and if not treated before a timber harvest, you are setting up your successional habitat to be a monoculture of Honeysuckle. Not only is this bad for wildlife in the long term, but it also has a massive trickle-down impact that will negatively affect wildlife to domestic quality lumber in the future.

3. For those who are saying it is too much work and money, it is all about priority. Is removing Honeysuckle going to NET you a booner, probably not. However, I can promise you will feel GREAT after removing acres of invasives.

As I mentioned before, you can contact your NRCS office and have a free consult from a state forester. They will break up your property/farm into sections and have you treat 5-6 acres at a time. Depending on don't the terrain you can get upwards of $500+/- an acre! I did 6+ acres by myself last year treating grapevine and TOH, on the side of a hill - took time but wasn't that bad - the check was nice! Also, once you have a state drawn-up forestry plan, you can register for State or Federal tax breaks and register your property as a tree farm. Can decrease property tax by 50-60%

Lastly, once these areas are treated we are allowing our native forests to regenerate, especially after a thought-out timber harvest.

I don't blame anyone for not doing it but if anyone is interested in learning more about what I have done on our farm- DM me anytime. I know I dream of a day when I am long gone, that my son or future grandchildren sit under a white oak that only made its way through the canopy because of the work ol grandad did years before.

"A society grows strong when old me plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit"

As always - thank you all for listening.

AT

Great information! Thanks for sharing!!

So, the question is, why aren't people doing it, or joining that program?

I have properties owned by corporations and county that surround us and they have thousands of acreas around me just chuck full of these honeysuckles.
 

LonewolfNopack

Junior Member
1,005
81
The woods
Great information! Thanks for sharing!!

So, the question is, why aren't people doing it, or joining that program?

I have properties owned by corporations and county that surround us and they have thousands of acreas around me just chuck full of these honeysuckles.
That answer is usually lack of education. Most folks just now are learning of its destruction to property. There actually are quite a few people killing it though.
 

at1010

*Supporting Member*
4,024
103
Great information! Thanks for sharing!!

So, the question is, why aren't people doing it, or joining that program?

I have properties owned by corporations and county that surround us and they have thousands of acreas around me just chuck full of these honeysuckles.

several reasons - people don’t know any better.

State foresters are limited on time and have huge regions - so you have to sometimes be persistent in tracking them down.

nrcs contracts - like any govt. agency - are bureaucratic and full of red tape bullshit that folks don’t want to deal with, although our experiences have been pleasant.

philosophically -imo- much of hunting has turned into a meritocracy where ones worth is defined by inches of bone and bucks killed, and time invested in killing said deer.

Many of these actions to work as land conservationist don’t equate directly to bucks being killed or even justifiable growth in antlersize or body size - atleast that’s how it’s perceived by the owner of land or the hunter.

We could discuss the value short and long term for wildlife and how these practices will positively impact deer through epigentic triggers but I don’t want to bore folks and steal more of this thread than I already have.

Ps. We also need more fire friendly programs on our landscape as well. Again another convo for another day. Baby steps.
 

Wildlife

Member
Supporting Member
3,575
137
USA
several reasons - people don’t know any better.

State foresters are limited on time and have huge regions - so you have to sometimes be persistent in tracking them down.

nrcs contracts - like any govt. agency - are bureaucratic and full of red tape bullshit that folks don’t want to deal with, although our experiences have been pleasant.

philosophically -imo- much of hunting has turned into a meritocracy where ones worth is defined by inches of bone and bucks killed, and time invested in killing said deer.

Many of these actions to work as land conservationist don’t equate directly to bucks being killed or even justifiable growth in antlersize or body size - atleast that’s how it’s perceived by the owner of land or the hunter.

We could discuss the value short and long term for wildlife and how these practices will positively impact deer through epigentic triggers but I don’t want to bore folks and steal more of this thread than I already have.

Ps. We also need more fire friendly programs on our landscape as well. Again another convo for another day. Baby steps.

Sorry for the delay, I was rudely disrupted by deer.

Yeah, I should have mentioned state as well. State Park and public hunting is just over the big hill, and it's just full of those honeysuckles too.

I too am learning here on this topic as well. Much appreciated in your sharing, thanks again!
 

Wildlife

Member
Supporting Member
3,575
137
USA
When the honeysuckle leaves dry up around my neck of woods each year in the winter, so does the deer pretty much. They head for the thicker stuff way at the top of the big hills that surround our creek valley.

I have plentiful amount of saplings and paw-paws as well, all along our creeks banks, which are two creeks, one on each side of the property that meet up at the very back edge connecting to the main big creek.

I'm telling ya, this property is by far the most challenging, and perhaps the most fun I've ever hunted for deer in my long years, included the added large CRP fields around here too.

I found out that these honeysuckles were invasive shortly after we moved here, about five years ago.

The birds, rabbits and other wildlife species in area seem to appreciate them as well. I witness it daily around here.

Anyhow, I do manage only the ones that are well within our property lines and that's about it.

I too have photographs of the 60's, 70''s, 80's, all the way through today of this property. If I remember correctly, it was about the 80's I first recall seeing these honeysuckles start to be more prevalent around the property, but I have to go back through them to confirm.
________________________________

One example of so many that within my collection.

Found a photograph that I'll share with you all taken sometime in the mid 80's during autumn where you can just make out pretty much the early beginnings of the honeysuckles taking over and grew all around the entire property in the background, right along our creek levee.

Right to left: Wife's grandfather (original owner of the property), wife's little sister and then my wife..
scan0152 (1).jpg


Now looking in the same direction, photograph was taken back in August of this year, 2021. Today, you can't even see the neighboring barn that is just on the other side of our creek, and that's how it is about 9 months out of the year too.
20210802_192614.jpg


EDIT: 10:08 p.m. - Wife just told me that her grandfather for many years used to manage those honeysuckles, by mowing them down right along the creek levee. He quit doing it when he had a stroke in the late 90's. So, I guess what you see in the second photo is basically from that point onward.

Like I said in an earlier post on here; every year since I've been living here in the autumn of 2015, I take my gas powered commerical grade hedge trimmer/pruner and trim them back away from our long driveway. Trust me, it's a chore that I despise doing each year too. Once done though, it looks like an 10-12' tall beautiful green wall of one continous honeysuckle shrub that grows right along our entire lenght (approx. 350yrds worth of honeysuckles) of the driveway. I couldn't imagine trying to tackle the job of taking them all out today. That would be a big job!
 
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Stressless

Active Member
944
52
Keene, OH
Great info - I was looking on my phone and didn't see @LonewolfNopack prior advice areas (up the thread) - I've added the link / data from the big brains at the OSU on this.

Controlling Non-Native Invasive Plants in Ohio Forests: Bush Honeysuckle​


Kathy Smith, Extension Program Director–Forestry, School of Environment and Natural Resources
Annemarie Smith, Invasive Species Forester, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry

Amur, Morrow, and Tartarian honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.)​

https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/F-68

From Factsheet F-68:

Mechanical Control


Tartarian honeysuckle. Photo by Kathy Smith, OSU Extension, School of Environment and Natural Resources.


Mechanical control alone is usually not a completely effective method of controlling medium to large bush honeysuckle shrubs. Simply cutting the shrub off at the base will cause prolific sprouting and increase the number of stems. An effective strategy for controlling mature bush honeysuckle will deaden both the above ground portion and the root system, which eliminates the potential for sprouting. This can be achieved most effectively through the use of herbicides.


(see Table 1 for foliar herbicide options). Also, be cautious of the timing of removal. These types of removals may best be done when the ground is frozen or at a minimum when the ground is not wet. Removing vast amounts of plants may result in large areas of disturbed soil and care should be taken to minimize any erosion and compaction potential created when the plants are removed.


Foliar Spraying


Honeysuckle sprouts as a result of cutting off the shrub at the ground. A follow-up foliar herbicide application can now be applied. Photo by Kathy Smith, OSU Extension, School of Environment and Natural Resources.


Foliar spraying is a method of control in which diluted herbicide is sprayed directly on the leaves of the targeted plants. This can be a very effective method of controlling honeysuckle but should only be used when the target plants are within easy reach of the sprayer. Spraying directed at less accessible plants can damage or kill valuable non-target plants through herbicide drift or overspray. In addition, care needs to be taken to ensure that herbicides are sprayed to wet the foliage but not to the point of runoff.


Bush honeysuckle leaves remain green and active late into fall (mid to late October) when most native plant species have gone dormant. Foliar applications of some herbicides can be used at this time with little or no impact to non-target species especially after the first hard frost in the fall. Herbicides recommended for foliar spraying of bush honeysuckle are listed in Table 1.


Table 1: Herbicides recommended for foliar treatment of bush honeysuckle.
HerbicideExample Brand NamesComments1
glyphosateRoundup, Accord, and other herbicides containing at least 41% glyphosateApply solution of 2% herbicide in water (vol/vol) when leaves are green; add a surfactant if not in herbicide.
2,4-D + triclopyrCrossbowWet foliage and stems with 1–1.5 gallons Crossbow in 100 gallons water; spot spray with 0.25 pt (1/2 cup) Crossbow in 3 gallons water.
triclopyrGarlon 3A, Tahoe 3AApply solution 3–5% (vol/vol) of herbicide in water when leaves are green.*
*A surfactant at .25% vol/vol rate may be added to the various triclopyr formulations when foliar spraying.
1These comments are not intended to be a substitute for the herbicide labels. To ensure the safe and effective use of the herbicides recommended in this publication read the label and SDS (Safety Data Sheet).

Cut Stump Herbicide Treatment


Cut stump treatments are a very effective method for controlling many undesirable woody shrubs and work well on bush honeysuckle. This method involves cutting the shrub off close to the ground and applying an herbicide to the cut surfaces (and sometimes the bark) with a spray bottle, paintbrush, roller, or wicking device.


Whether to use an oil or water soluble herbicide depends on the timing of the herbicide application after the cut. Herbicides carried in water should be applied to the outer 1/3 of the top of the stump within minutes of making the cut.


Utilize an oil soluble herbicide when planning to cut and later return to treat the stumps. Apply the oil soluble herbicide to the entire top and sides of the cut stump but not to the point of excessive runoff. Apply anytime as long as the stumps are dry and not frozen.


Herbicides (both water- and oil-soluble) recommended for cut stump treatments of bush honeysuckle are listed in Table 2. Late summer, early fall, or dormant season applications have all proven to be effective. Avoid applications during sap-flow (spring) as this lessens the effectiveness of the herbicide application.


Table 2: Herbicides recommended for cut stump treatment of bush honeysuckle.
HerbicideExample Brand NamesComments1
glyphosateRoundup, Accord, and othersApply 20% active ingredient to outer third of cut stem/stump surface immediately after cutting.
2,4-D + picloramPathway, Tordon RTUApply undiluted to surface of cut stem immediately after cutting.
Tordon 101Apply undiluted or diluted 1:1 with water.
2,4-D + triclopyrCrossbowApply solution of 4% Crossbow in diesel fuel, fuel oil, or kerosene.
triclopyrGarlon 4, Garlon 4 Ultra, Tahoe 4E, Remedy, and othersApply 20% Garlon 4 + 10% penetrate (e.g. Cide-Kick II) in diesel, fuel oil, kerosene, or basal oil (penetrate not needed with basal oil).
1These comments are not intended to be a substitute for the herbicide labels. To ensure the safe and effective use of the herbicides recommended in this publication read the label and SDS (Safety Data Sheet).

Basal Spraying


A basal application of herbicide needs to be made to the lower 12–18 inches of the honeysuckles' stems. Photo by Kathy Smith, OSU Extension, School of Environment and Natural Resources.


A basal application for bush honeysuckle refers to the spraying of a labeled herbicide mixed with an oil-based carrier on the lower 12–18 inches of the stem. The herbicide is sprayed, ensuring that the stems are wet but not to the point of runoff. Basal treatments should only be applied when the areas to be treated are dry and not frozen. The basal treatments recommended in Table 3 should be applied during the dormant season (winter or spring). Due to the arching nature of bush honeysuckle shrubs, access to the lower portion of the shrubs trunk is not always easy to achieve. Care should be taken to ensure that the chemical being applied is reaching the lower portion of the shrub's trunk and not merely being applied in its general vicinity.


Table 3: Herbicides recommended for basal spraying of bush honeysuckle.
HerbicideExample Brand NamesComments1
triclopyr + imazapyrGarlon 4 and StalkerApply a solution of 15% Garlon 4 + 3% Stalker + 82% Ax-It basal oil mixed by volume.
triclopyrGarlon 4, Garlon 4 UltraApply a solution of 20% Garlon 4 in basal oil (Ax-It or Arborchem). Diesel fuel may also be used as a carrier but this requires that a 10% penetrant (such as Cide-Kick II) must also be added.
2,4-D + triclopyrCrossbowApply a 4% solution of Crossbow in diesel oil, fuel oil, or kerosene.
 
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