PUGWASH, N.S. — Volunteers with the Nature Conservancy of Canada pulled out and chopped down an invasive shrub on Sunday in Nova Scotia.

The conservation group organized a cull of the glossy buckthorn shrub from its Pugwash Estuary Nature Reserve.

The introduced species has grown aggressively in the reserve, blocking the growth of native species such as pine and maple.

The Nature Conservancy says if the plant is allowed to flourish unchecked then native plants that help stabilize the land won't grow and that leads to erosion and runoff that threatens wildlife habitat.

The smaller glossy buckthorns had to be pulled out by their roots, while larger shrubs were chopped back and sponged with herbicide.

The conservation group estimated they removed about 5,000 of the plants during Sunday's cull.