Monday, February 17, 2014

Hail the Mighty Buckthorn

I have posted in the past about our issues with light pollution, specifically from our neighbors' lights.  This weekend Big Ag and I were at the nursery, picking out some drought tolerant and freeze hardy plants to replace those we lost in the Big Freeze back in December when we stumbled upon some small versions of this attractive looking shrub/tree:

Meet the "John Edwards" Italian Buckthorn.  Drought and freeze hardy, loves well-drained soil with lots of calcium, and evergreen. Grows 2 - 3 feet per year, or more.

Meet the solution to our light issues.

We bought three of these to add to our backyard landscaping, and another four to plant along the south fence of our house, where our neighbors have six spotlights, which shine all night long.  We have a similar light-loving neighbor along the north side of our property, and will be planting a high hedge of 15 - 20 buckthorns there, to completely block the lights from that direction.  It will also give us a bit more privacy and block the unsightly view of his assorted cars and trailers.

We shopped a fence which would do the same thing, and the price came in at approximately $3500.  We're not willing to spend that much on something that will only decrease in beauty as it grows older. We can buy the Buckthorns and get them planted for about 10 percent the cost of the fence, and they will actually grow in beauty and majesty as they age. I love hedges, and finding a plant we can use for one that is also drought-tolerant is a boon for us.

I'm looking forward to a much greener view outside with these lovelies in view, and especially to a darker yard, which their thick foliage will help provide us.


  1. What a gorgeous tree! Named for the politician? We have buckthorns here that look very different and are invasive. I love the leaves of the Italian Buckthorn...they look like a cross between magnolia and holly leaves. And a living fence beats a rotting one any day!

  2. Gosh I HOPE it's not named for the politician! I don't need any of those growing in my backyard, haha!