According to Ohio Department of Natural Resources, common buckthorn is a woody shrub or small tree that can reach 20 feet tall. The cut stem are yellow sapwood and pink to orange heartwood. Common buckthorn has slender, glabrous stems with spine tips. Leaves are one to two and a half inches long, oval, rounded or pointed at the tip and
have jagged, toothed margins. Leaves are dark, glossy green on the upper surface and stay green late into fall. It has small, four-petaled yellowish-green flowers and dark purple-black fruits that ripen July to September.
Hand-pulling is effective for small populations and the entire plant must be removed, according to Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Selective herbicide application is the most effective control method if applied to foliage during the growing season, cut stems or the bark of the lower portions of the stems/trunks.
Common buckthorn forms dense thickets and overcrowds and prevents other plants from getting sunlight according to Ohio Department of Natural Resources.