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Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania
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Although beautiful and preferred, shadbush should be exterminated


Many people are surprised at learning that the shadbush currently bursting into white blossoms in the undergrowth is an invasive species in Lithuania and should be exterminated. These tall bushes reaching up to 6-8 m are grown as ornamental and valuable plants, and their berries popularly called “raisins” are made into jam.

According to Laura Janulaitienė, chief specialist of the Nature Protection Division of the Nature Protection and Forest Department at the Ministry of Environment, unfortunately the shadbush is spreading rapidly and ousting local species. Scientists’ information shows that in Lithuania these plants were first discovered in the surroundings of Vilnius in 1934. At present they are very common in the eastern and western parts of the country, but they are also intruding into its other territories.

The shadbush is native to the eastern part of the United States. Now it is found almost all over Europe and Asia. Its white flowers grow in quite thick clusters. The berries ripen in July or August. Propagation is by seeds and grafting. Seeds spread with birds that are fond of eating the berries.

In Lithuania, the shadbush most often inhabits coniferous forests of temperate humidity, slopes, shores, tree-covered dunes and roadsides, but it is also spreading even to wetland communities. The shadbush grows well in both acidic and alkaline soils, and is highly resistant to cold. It forms thick shrubbery, especially in pine forests and on forest edges. Such formations lead to changes in a habitat’s local plant communities, soil nutrient content and light conditions. This results in the disrupted spontaneous regeneration of tree and shrub species.

Felled shadbush very quickly form many new growths from the stump or roots. The best way to exterminate it is treatment by chemical preparations. Holes drilled in the stumps should be filled with herbicides containing glyphosate active substances. The stumps can be cut only after a shrub becomes completely dry. Young plants can be uprooted.

Communication Division

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas