Bush honeysuckles (Lonicera spp.) are shrubs that can grow up to 12 feet tall. They include Amur Honeysuckle, Morrow’s Honeysuckle, Tatarian Honeysuckle, and Bell’s Honeysuckle. Native to Asia and Europe, these honeysuckles were introduced as ornamental landscape plants. Their leaf shape and flower color are variable.
These plants invade fields, field edges, and forests. They produce leaves earlier in the spring than most native species, which gives them a competitive advantage.
Control seedlings and small saplings by hand pulling or repeated cutting or mowing. Application of a systemic herbicide to the freshly cut stump of larger plants is generally effective. Some species of bush honeysuckle may invade wetland areas subject to the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act; before taking action, check with the local conservation commission, and only apply herbicides registered for use in wetlands. Always read and follow the directions on the label when using herbicides.