The Northeast Missouri Naturalists will be working on the historic Riverside Cemetery on Saturday, Nov. 3 in Hannibal.

The Northeast Missouri Naturalists will be working on the historic Riverside Cemetery on Saturday, Nov. 3 in Hannibal.

Their mission is ot remove bush honeysuckle from around old trees in the cemetery.

Bush honeysuckle is a non-native species from eastern Asia. It out-competes native Missouri plants by leafing out earlier in the spring and remaining late in the fall. Bush honeysuckle also competes for soil moisture and nutrients from native trees and plants. It forms an thick understory that limits sunlight to native plants, inhibiting seedling establishment and forest regeneration. Its red berries are carbohydrate-based and provide poor nutrition in the fall to migrating birds.

Master Naturalists will be using the cut-stump method to dispose of the bush honeysuckle plants. This involves cutting the bush off at the stump and applying a 20-percent glyphosphate (Roundup) solution with a sprayer to immediately and thoroughly cover the freshly-cut area.

Fall is the best time to treat bush honeysuckle to prevent it from coming back in the spring. Native trees and plants have gone dormant, but the honeysuckle leaves are still green. Bush honeysuckle can be identified in the fall by its red berries formed in pairs.

The Northeast Missouri Naturalists are looking forward to working on other projects in Northeast Missouri.