We live in Ohio surrounded by some woods. Almost all the underbrush is made up of this plant. It can grow into a small tree and is very easy to break by hand. I tried to look it up on Ohio's invasive plant list, but I could not find a match. What is it?[

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  • It's about to produce some flowers - would be helpful to see those once they're open. The leaves could be various shrubby plants like Philadelphus or Deutzia or others – Bamboo Apr 12 '20 at 17:52

Looks like a non-native honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica maybe). I base this ID on the branching shown in the last photo, coupled with it being easy to break. The bark color and growth habit are both correct for Lonicera, too.

If I am correct, this is a horribly invasive plant. You can remove them in one of two ways:

  • Chemically (with Triclopyr, usually sold as Stump and Brush Killer). To do this, it's safest (to you) to cut every trunk down to about 3", then brush the cut surface with the undiluted chemical. A little of the chemical goes a long way.
  • Manually, by digging our the crown. This involves exhuming the roots (you can cut some with a sharp spade, but you won't get them all), and then sawing and chopping the remaining roots. As you can tell, this is a large amount of work.

If it's an invasive honeysuckle, the flowers should look something like this.

Please let me know if I'm wrong so that I can then delete this ID.

  • Thanks. This is what I first thought until I started searching honeysuckle. I searched the exact plan you said and I did find one that looked similar. I will keep an eye on it as it flowers and update. – David Apr 12 '20 at 20:46
  • Could also be Lonicera japonica. To make things a little confusing, there are native honeysuckles, but those are vines. – Jurp Apr 12 '20 at 21:52

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