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Japanese & Bush Honeysuckle (IL)

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From: Tom V.
Geneseo, IL
I just read an article on the benefits of Japanese honeysuckle for deer. My forest management plan calls for the treatment of bush honeysuckle to improve the timber quality. What is the difference between bush and Japanese honeysuckle? Can I keep and manage the bush honeysuckle for deer and not hurt my timber quality? If I manage the bush honeysuckle what are the guidelines? When is too much? Thanks for listening Tom V

Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Hi Tom:

Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) is a non-native, woody vine from Asia -- it is also extremely aggressive and invasive. This plant should NOT be promoted for wildlife habitat or deer browse. This plant is more of a problem in southern Illinois; regrettably, I am starting to see this non-native woody vine in east-central Illinois.

Eurasian bush honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.) is also non-native; it is an extremely invasive woody shrub to small tree. This group of species (Amur, Morrow, Tatarian, and their hybrids) should be completely eliminated from your woodland because it will ultimately take over the entire woodland understory!

There are ZERO positive attributes regarding Eurasian bush honeysuckle -- anyone who tells you differently has their head buried in the sand :-)

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