Rhamnus cathartica, the buckthorn, common buckthorn or purging buckthorn is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing up to 10 metres (33 ft) tall, The seeds and leaves are mildly poisonous for people and animals, but are readily eaten by birds, it is shade-tolerant, moderately fast-growing and short-lived. Buckthorn flowers in spring, producing yellowish-green flowers and red berries which turn to black berries in Autumn.
If using in as hedge: All species in a wildlife hedge can be cut back or “Coppiced” without harm. In the 1st year after establishment the hedge can be cut back to stimulate growth of the hedge from the base thereafter cut every 2-3 years. If the weather is unsuitable for planting or receiving the hedging, dig a hole and bury the roots of the bunched plants, they can be held like that till planting. After planting it is advantageous to mulch the hedge with lawn mowing or leaf mould to suppress weeds and also be done with plastic or carpet cuts and covered with soil.