Q: In the last few years, mahonia has taken over our woods. What is the best way to get rid of it, and is there any way of keeping it from spreading so quickly?
A: You need long-handled loppers, leather gloves and an old jacket. Reach through the prickly leaves and use the loppers to cut each stem of each selected plant at the base. You’ll appreciate the leather gloves and jacket as you pull the shrubs out for disposal. Spray the bright yellow mahonia stumps with any product that contains glyphosate (KleenUp, KillzAll, Roundup, etc). Mahonia spreads by bird droppings. If a neighbor allows the blue berries to develop on their mahonia shrub, you’ll always have new seedling sprouting in your landscape.