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How to identify common buckthorn
- Buckthorn is usually the first shrub to leaf out in the spring and the last to drop its leaves late in the fall.
- It often grows 2 to 3 meters tall. Occasionally it reaches 6 meters, with a trunk up to 25 centimeters in diameter.
- It is distinguished by the sharp, thorn-tipped branches in contrast to the simple or compound thorns growing from the sides of branches in the Hawthorns.
- It has smooth, dark green leaves that are finely toothed, 2.5 to 6 centimeters long, with prominent forward-curved side veins, arranged in opposing pairs along the stem.
- It produces clusters of purplish-black berries along the stems and short twigs, and each berry usually has 4 hard seeds.
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