Bush Honeysuckle Eradication

Exotic bush honeysuckles, specifically Morrow’s and Amur, can rapidly invade and overtake a site, forming a dense shrub layer that crowds and shades out native plant species.
Busch Conservation Area before honeysuckle
They alter habitats by decreasing light avability, by depleting soil moisture and nutrients, and possibly by releasing toxic chemicals that prevent other plant species from growing in the vicinity. Exotic bush honeysuckles may compete with native bush honeysuckles for pollinators, resulting in a reduced seed set for native species. In addition, the fruits of exotic bush honeysuckles, while abundant and rich in carbohydrates, do not offer migrating birds the high-fat, nutrient-rich food sources needed for long flights, that are supplied by native plant species. 

SLAS volunteer clearing of honeysuckle.

Exotic bush honeysuckles were originally introduced from Asia for use as ornamentals, for wildlife cover and for soil erosion control. 

Exotic bush honeysuckles are relatively shade-intolerant and most often occur in forest edge, abandoned field, pasture, roadsides and other open, upland habitats. Woodlands, especially those that have been grazed or otherwise disturbed, may also be invaded by exotic bush honeysuckles. 

Open-grown exotic bush honeysuckles fruit prolifically and are highly attractive to birds. In the eastern United States, over twenty species
SLAS volunteer clearing of honeysuckle.
of birds feed on the persistent fruits and widely disseminate seeds across the landscape. In established populations, vegetative sprouting also aids in the persistence of these exotic shrubs. 

What SLAS is Doing
St. Louis Audubon was an early supporter of the bush honeysuckle eradication project in Forest Park’s Kennedy Woods and continues to support the annual effort to remove invasive honeysuckle from the rest of the Park.
The Chapter has also coordinated or supported other honeysuckle projects around the STL Metro, including Ruth Park Woods and very soon at Creve Coeur Lake Park.

What YOU Can Do

Busch Conservation Area, two years after
honeysuckle eradication.

  • Watch our website for honeysuckle work days and volunteer!
  • Do not let exotic bush honeysuckle become established in your yard and remove it if it has already done so. See the links below to be sure you have properly identified it and follow the best practices for removal.
  • Talk to your neighbors who have infestations and help them understand the problem.
  • Our Native Plants and Animals Thank You!

Links for More Information

Tale Feathers
SLAS Newsletter

SLAS Events


    • 2017 Cathleen Creley Conservation Grant more info
    • Bring Conservation Home Volunteer Training more info
    • Register for Hog Island Audubon Camp more info
    • Bring Conservation Home feature in Times newspapers more info
    • St. Louis Audubon turns 100 more info
    • Missouri Legislators Propose Overhaul of State Conservation Dept more info
    • SLAS Announces 2014 Annual Appeal more info
    • Audubon Birds and Climate Change Report more info
    • Get Involved in SLAS Conservation more info
    • SLAS Volunteers Assist with Purple Martin Leg Banding--Post Dispatch more info
    • Open pipes are found to be death traps for birds more info