Barberry leaves appear earlier than many native species, yet the plant drops its leaves later – gaining a competitive advantage in local woodland environments. Therefore, it only takes one Japanese barberry to produce a colony of reproducing plants if left unchecked. Transplant barberries just after flowering or in late winter. University of Wisconsin researcher, James Reinartz (1997), tested cold weather stump application using 25% concentration of glyphosate herbicide on glossy buckthorn and obtained 92 to 100% control. Foliage is a strong purple-red. Japanese Barberry Write a Review. 1. Ward and Williams (2011) used propane torches directed at the crowns of Japanese barberry plants in Connecticut. In invaded shaded woodlands, I have observed several specimens with dilute purple color, and because of persistent shade, they exhibit a green-purple hue to full green. Noteworthy Characteristics. atropurpurea) There are not many plants that can be found growing from Wisconsin down to Florida, but Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) is one of them.Based on the number of new varieties still being introduced to the market, it appears that this plant is still extremely popular. (6) The timing of leaf out and of leaf loss. Foliar application works best between July and mid-September. 'Kobold' is only about 50 cm high and wide and it is suitable for even the smallest gardens or terraces. The red fruits, which are another desirable ornamental characteristic, persist into the fall and winter months. Light Needs. This growth characteristic allows barberry to be pruned into hedges quite effectively. These are the months during which carbohydrates and other plant compounds are being manufactured in the leaves by way of photosynthesis and are transported from the leaves to the roots for storage. Height – ½ to 1½ feet (15 to 45 cm) Main types – Japanese barberry, hybrids. The outstanding orange to red fall color appears early and remains late before leaves drop. Part of barberry’s ornamental appeal is that its alternate, simple leaves are arranged in clusters along the erect to arching stems enhancing its textural appeal in the built landscape (Dirr, 1998). Horticulturists and other plant enthusiasts recognize that leaves vary in color and size among the many cultivars available (Johnson, 1996; Dirr, 1998). Barberry shines throughout the entire growing season with its vibrant foliage. Japanese barberry shrubs often reach a height of 6 feet at maturity, with a similar spread, although there are more compact cultivars, such as 'Nana' and 'Compactum.' Barberries like full sun or partial shade and are very adaptable to a wide range of soil types as long as it drains well. If you’re looking for an interesting shrub that offers low maintenance in the garden, then look no further than the barberry (Berberis vulgaris). Educate your neighbors about what you are doing and why. Japanese barberry found in natural areas most frequently has dark green leaves. Mature green foliage provides superb backdrop for the dramatic lime green new foliage. A cross between Japanese Green Barberry and Korean Barberry introduced by Bailey Nurseries. This shrub grows slowly but transplants easily. In shades of green, yellow, and rich burgundy, these plants make up for their lack of showy blooms with their constantly colorful leaves. Hand-pull what you physically are able before Japanese barberry produces berries (seeds); preferably before July. Some species of Oregon grape, a relative of barberry, are sometimes called barberry. Most striking are the deep reddish purple inch-long leaves. Fertilizing barberry shrubs is generally not necessary. 1). Once established, Japanese barberry can tolerate a range of varying site and soil conditions. Species: Berberis thunbergii DC. Identification Leaves & stems: Clustered in tight bunches above spines, the leaves are simple, alternate, small, and oval to spatulate shaped (wider at the tip than the base). (2) Vectors. Some varieties, however, only reach ankle or knee height. The plant tolerates most light exposures and soils, but purple-leaved cultivars turn green in shade. Thorns help protect this plant from most grazing animals. Deciduous. Showy foliage is purple-red throughout the summer months, then turns a deep amber color in fall. Barberry’s bright red fruit added to the shrub’s desirability as an ornamental species. Japanese barberry is thorny, so it's useful for barrier plantings (Fig. Invasive Traits: Japanese barberry exhibits. Roots and stems have high berberine content (Zheng et al, 2006). All Rights Reserved. They can be grown in a wide range of conditions and they are great plants to bring color and form to every garden, wherever you are, and whatever kind of garden you have. I have used straight glyphosate concentration on freshly cut glossy buckthorn stumps and obtained a 98 to 100% kill from November through January. Pull out easy-to-pull plants. In addition, the application of herbicides in July, August, and up to mid-September gives maximum chemical control. Seed is dispersed by birds and other berry feeding animals, sometimes over great distances. Japanese barberry leaves can vary in size, shape and color depending upon site and soil conditions. In addition to its thorns, you will want to choose a barberry shrub that suits your growing conditions and region. 4. However, it frequently invades sunny spots which is why it is seen growing in open fields and pastures, along field edges, along roads and paths, open woodlands, and other sunny areas. They can even be grown in containers. What does Japanese barberry look like? Showy bright red fruits (or berries) are about 1/4 inch long, oval elongate, and borne on the stems attached by a long slender stalk (Whitcomb, 1985). (7) Shade/sun tolerance. Japanese barberry, (Berberis thunbergi), arrives in the woods by birds eating the fruits in winter and pooping/planting them. Award-winning Berberis thunbergii 'Orange Rocket' (Japanese Barberry) is a compact, upright, deciduous shrub with small, vibrant coral-orange new leaves that change to mid-green in summer before turning brilliant shades of red-orange in the fall. The results showed that the Japanese barberries had three times more root biomass than the native blueberries. However, most seeds fall relatively close to the parent plant which is why this species grows as clumps or thickets. They recommend that two torch treatments on targeted plants are most effective; initial torch treatment in early spring before Japanese barberry leaf-out (or any time from March through June) and a follow- up treatment from July through August was effective at controlling the growth and spread of Japanese barberry in areas where chemical control options were restricted (Ward and Williams, 2011). Mechanical controls can be done at any time during the year; however, the best times are the months before or during flowering. 1. The root, bark and red berries of the barberry bush are used for medicinal purposes. Leaves (variably sized to 1 1/4” long) typically turn attractive shades of orange, yellow and red in fall. The root system of Japanese barberry is shallow with fibrous fine roots; rhizomes (under ground reproductive stems) grow out from the plant’s root crown (Zouhar, 2008). Numerous cultivars are available as ornamental plants suitable for hedging. After the taller stumps have re-sprouted, you cut them to one inch above the ground and immediately apply glyphosate herbicide to the freshly cut stumps. (Magee and Ahles, 2007). (4) Vegetative or asexual reproduction. This barberry is an excellent hedge pland, and it also looks good in the middle to rear of beds and borders. Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) is a specially regulated plant on Minnesota’s Noxious Weed list. Bruce may be reached at A 3-inch (7.5 cm) layer of mulch helps with moisture retention. Above ground sprouts can arise from the rhizomes allowing this plant to spread into new and adjoining spaces. An arching, dense shrub with broadly oval pale to mid green leaves turning brilliant orange-red in the fall. When it comes to barberry shrub care, you’ll find that it’s pretty minimal. Be sure to check into this beforehand. Japanese barberry – Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) is the most popular landscape barberry growing from 3 to 6 feet (1-2 m.) tall. Solitary yellow flowers bloom from March to April, and the fruit is a round or elliptical red berry. This plant is extremely invasive in some areas, so research carefully before planting. Leaf color can be red, purple, dark green or yellow-green and differs substantially between varieties and with light availability. Biological Control: There are no commercially available insects, mites or disease organisms yet found to be effective biological control agents. Regenerative Solutions for Resilient Landscapes, As Things Always Change, the Nature of Nature Remains the Same, Small Native Shrubs to Replace Commonly Used Exotics, North American Prairie Species of New England, Urban Wilderness and the “High Line Problem”. Seed production is related to stem density (i.e. There are over 400 species of barberry plants. Adds rich color to the landscape. Very hardy shrub. Japanese barberry is shade-tolerant. Japanese barberry is native to China and Japan (Dirr, 1998; Whitcomb, 1985; Zheng et al, 2006). It was introduced as an ornamental to the United States in the 1860s (Dirr, 1998). Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. ), then you can dig out the plant or pull it out with a Weed Wrench® . Japanese barberry has year-round distinct features that make it easy to identify. 'Bogozam' (Bananza Gold™) - A dwarf, golden pygmy barberry with a dense mounding habit. If you cannot stump-applicate the hard-to-pull plants during the summer months, then you can instead cut the plant six to twelve inches from the ground before it starts to produce berries (seeds) in July. Photo courtesy of IPANE. The barberry plant is any of almost 500 species of thorny evergreen or deciduous shrubs of the genus Berberis and the family Berberidaceae. The leaves of this dwarf Japanese barberry are fresh green and only 3 cm large. At each node (where leaves … Red Japanese barberry is a deciduous shrub with multi-season interest. • Mature Japanese barberry is the perfect height for questing adult ticks to attach themselves to deer as they pass by. This dense, arching, deciduous shrub features broadly oval, reddish-purple leaves which turn into brilliant red or red-orange shades in the fall. The mechanical control of cutting or mowing is also very effective during these months for the same reason. … Dirr (1998) states that its leaves vary from 1/2 to 1 1/4 inches long with short petioles and can range in shape from obovate (broadest at the middle) to spatulate (narrow at the base and broad at the apex). 2. Then cut the sprouted plant in July, August, or early September to one inch from the ground and stump-applicate with straight glyphosate herbicide. Red Leaf Japanese Barberry Berberis thunbergii 'Atropurpurea' Sku #1200. Barberry is a very dense plant due to the multitude of small twigs and branches. For more information about Japanese barberry visit: To about 12" to 16" tall. Can … Zouhar (2008) presents a New Jersey study in which Japanese barberry root biomass was compared to native blueberry shrubs of similar ages that were growing together in an invaded area. Red leaf forms and purple cultivars may lose their color under shade and revert back to a green color (Whitcomb, 1985). (3) Sexual reproduction breeding system. Again, there are numerous types to choose from; however, some of the more popular barberry shrub varieties include: Growing barberry bushes is easy and many city dwellers choose this shrub type due to its ability to tolerate urban conditions much better than other varieties of landscape shrubs. It’s also referred to as European barberry, trailing mahonia or berberis. Berberis thunbergii, commonly called Japanese barberry, is a spiny, broad-rounded, deciduous shrub with obovate green leaves.It typically matures to 5' tall and as wide. Small berries add winter interest. The recommendation for Japanese barberry was based upon this literature review [PDF] developed by the department. clients or neighbors) about the dangers of this pest is another cultural control of enormous value. A popular ornamental deciduous shrub it ranges in size from three to seven or more feet in height (Johnson, 1996; Whitcomb, 1985). If Japanese barberry has many stems and is quite large, it may take one to two years for complete kill after one foliar application because multiple stemmed specimens generally have a very large root system. A compact plant with glossy dark green foliage. abundance) and is much higher when plants grow in direct sun light (Zouhar, 2008). Japanese barberry can be sheared and used as a hedge plant. Allowing the stumps to re-sprout during the summer months draws carbohydrate and other growth compounds from the roots and depletes some of the root energy making herbicide kill more effective. (1) High seed production and good seed viability. Seed bank abundance is very low which is possibly due to low seed germination potential (viability) combined with seed predation by insects and small mammals (Zouhar, 2008). Other common names Japanese barberry . It’s the law. 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Tiny, scented, pale yellow flowers appear in early summer, but are insignificant in comparison to the foliage. Japanese Barberry (berberis thunbergii) is found growing wild in China and Japan. The evergreen, lance-shaped leaves present a contrasting mixture of a deep glossy green and a bright blood red, a combination bound to put this shrub in the spotlight. Japanese barberry is a spiny shrub whose arching branches are characterized by green or blue-green, oval or spoon shaped leaves. Roundup ‘poison ivy killer’ works very well. Plants that prove to be too difficult to remove by way of pulling or digging you can cut down to one inch stumps and immediately apply a glyphosate herbicide to the freshly cut stumps using a paint brush or sponge applicator. A better barberry choice for more alkaline sites. Cultural Controls: Monitor or visually inspect your property for Japanese barberry. The bush bears green leaves, as well as yellow flowers that bloom in mid-spring. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Leaves turn red in the fall. Shrubs that have not been pruned have a compact, dense form which is typically more broad than tall at maturity (Zouhar, 2008). The magnificent Chinese Barberry and Warted Barberry hybrid offers year-round interest, with its fabulous multicoloured foliage. Genus Berberis can be deciduous or evergreen shrubs with spiny shoots bearing simple, often spine-toothed leaves, and small yellow or orange flowers in axillary clusters or racemes, followed by small berries However, Zouhar (2008) reports that some seeds were produced under very low sun light levels. Foliar application of glyphosate works best on multi-stemmed plants or large Japanese barberry plants that were repeatedly cut for many years without chemical control follow up or were not removed by digging. 'Bagatelle' - A compact form that is similar to 'Crimson Pygmy', except the leaves are shinier and smaller, and the plant grows more slowly. sprouting) occurs when stems are cut or broken. The barberry shrub or barberry bush is common in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and central Asia. Pruning barberry plants increase shrub health and vigor. Genus Berberis. 5. Japanese barberry is multi-branched dense shrub that can grow to 2.5 m (8 ft) in height. Every time you cut the top off, you force the plant to sprout which reduces the root reserves and weakens the plant. Dirr (1998) states that its leaves vary from 1/2 to 1 1/4 inches long with short petioles and can range in shape from obovate (broadest at the middle) to spatulate (narrow at the base and broad at the apex). This species also holds onto its leaves a little longer in the fall than most native plants. NOTE: Before planting anything in your garden, it is always important to check if a plant is invasive in your particular area. Vegetative reproduction (i.e. rhizomes) and stem layering (e.g. Remove dead wood during the summer and winter months. This shrub can produce large numbers of fine fibrous roots during the growing season compared to native shrubs of the same size. Berberis thunbergii, commonly called Japanese barberry, is a spiny, broad-rounded, deciduous shrub with obovate green leaves.It typically matures to 5' tall and as wide. If you are keeping your barberry shrubs as a hedge, it is necessary to prune a couple of times a year. Individual Exotic Invasive Plant Fact Sheets: Bruce Wenning has university degrees in plant pathology and entomology and is an ELA Board member and regular contributor to the ELA Newsletter. It grows three to six feet tall and spreads four to seven feet. (for C.P. This trait allows Japanese barberry to produce more carbohydrate and other compounds in the leaves by way of photosynthesis and transport these products to the roots for storage (i.e. Sign up for our newsletter. Although these tough hedge plants used to be planted frequently, they are now considered invasive plants in several regions. Garden soils or soil in natural areas where they have invaded provide best growth if sunny, fertile, moist, and well drained (Whitcomb, 1985). Brilliant young leaves will not burn in the sun unlike some yellow-leaved varieties. Dense branching habit makes a superb hedge or barrier plant. Stems are notoriously noted for their spines making pruning tasks painful without leather gloves. Barberries are also frequently used as a hedge because of their uniform growth pattern. Japanese barberry produces flowers from April to June and plant removal is best accomplished before seeds begin to ripen in July. This one undulates through a thick stand of summer grasses, the leaves and branches contrasting with the fine foliage. IPM Control Strategies for Japanese barberry. cold weather storage for better winter survival and spring growth). This species flowers from April through June and fruits from July through October; fruits persist into the winter months (Zheng et al, 2006; Magee and Ahles, 2007; Zouhar, 2008). Japanese barberry also reproduces asexually by root suckers (i.e. Japanese barberry is mostly multi-stemmed with additional stems arising from rhizomes (Zouhar, 2008). 3. It also is a prime hiding spot for ticks. Japanese barberry exhibits a high ornamental value plus it responds very well to pruning which is why landscape designers fell in love with this plant years ago. Leaves emerge very early in the spring than most native plants. Your local extension office can help with this. Stump application is very effective during July, August, and up to mid-September. However, established plants do not grow well under droughty or prolonged wet conditions and will drop their leaves in response giving them an unsightly appearance. It was very popular in its original form, with green leaves, yellow flowers and red berries, because it was both beautiful and easy to grow. To control reversion, remove reverted shoots promptly to discourage them. I have not tried cold weather stump-application using glyphosate on Japanese barberry. Many barberries have sharp thorns; however, some are without. Get ecological news and event updates in your inbox. Japanese barberry leaves can vary in size, shape and color depending upon site and soil conditions. Individuals contemplating using chemical control of Japanese barberry in or near wetlands must use a wetland approved herbicide. © 2020 Ecological Landscape Alliance. Growing to 1 metre (3.3 ft) tall by 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) broad, it is a small deciduous shrub with green leaves turning red in the autumn, brilliant red fruits in autumn and pale yellow flowers in spring. Do this at least every June and September. 2. Foliage is green to a dark reddish purple. An improved form of the original Green Barberry. They mention that their earlier work using directed heating via propane torches controlled Japanese barberry for approximately two years on small scale research plots. Dwarf Japanese barberry for the smallest areas As the name suggests, this plant is a small form of the common barberry. Berberis thunbergii, the Japanese barberry, Thunberg's barberry, or red barberry, is a species of flowering plant in the barberry family, Berberidaceae, native to Japan and eastern Asia, though widely naturalized in China and in North America. For additional information about exotic invasives, refer to Bruce’s article: “Controlling Small Scale Infestations of Exotic Invasive Plant Species: Ecological and IPM Information for Landscapers and Homeowners.”, Part I: The New Group of Pests Differs from Insects and Diseases How to Grow a Red-Leaf Barberry. Watch out for the brittle, three-pronged thorns. General Description: Japanese barberry is an exotic invasive shrub that is well established in home and commercial landscapes. Deciduous. Stems also arise from the root crown. Cold weather stump application is especially useful on overgrown individuals or stands. It is worth trying on this species. He is a horticulturist at The Country Club, Brookline, MA where he continues his battle with exotic invasive plant species. Landscape Shrubs Redleaf Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii var. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s recent Weed of the Month is more than just noxious. This species is not as prolific an invader as Asiatic bittersweet vine or glossy buckthorn. This downward flow of plant compounds helps facilitate the transport of foliar and stump applied herbicide to the roots for more effective kill. Properly identify Japanese barberry. stem tips that contact the ground for an extended period of time will sprout roots forming a new plant) (Zouhar, 2008). Watch for his upcoming articles with information about additional individual invasive species. The red-leafed Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) is a popular landscaping and deciduous shrub. Repeated cutting of big plants or mowing seedlings on a monthly cycle will be more effective at stunting the plant and inhibiting fruit and seed (berry) production. Because land doesn’t come with a manual. Several characteristics of Japanese barberry, including early leaf-out, dense thorns and an a wealth of fruit, all combine to create an ideal habitat for mice that is free from predators and has abundant food. The sharp spine-covered shrub, which grows 3 to 6 feet tall, is a prime housing location for deer ticks, according to researchers in Connecticut. Spring or early summer cutting of Japanese barberry will slow its growth, but may not inhibit flower, fruit, and seed production. Use a Weed Wrench on hard-to-pull plants; preferably before July. Plant Taxonomy: Family Berberidaceae. Thunberg). Virtually there are no effective predators feeding on or killing this plant. Japanese barberry has small, oval, alternate leaves. Educating others (e.g. Suggested chemical control in March, April, May, and June is to cut the stump (multiple stems) high (six to twelve inches) and let it sprout. Grows 1.5' to 2' … perfect flowers). Also, some types of barberry may become invasive in some regions. Invasive Species - (Berberis thunbergii) Japanese barberry is a spiny, deciduous shrub usually 1-2 feet, but can grow up to 6 feet in height. It arrived in America in 1875, brought over by explorers from the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, part of Harvard University. Foliar application transports the herbicide from the leaves to the roots. Shiny green to burgundy leaves are alternate along its thorny stems. Regulations: The importation, distribution, trade, and sale of Japanese barberry have been banned in Massachusetts effective January 1, 2009 (Massachusetts Prohibited Plant List website, 2012). It also has sharp thorns, and red, oblong berries that last well into the cold-weather months and are thus valued as winter interest features. (5) Predator avoidance and/or deterrence. Prune for shape during the winter or fall after the plant has fruited. A Japanese barberry takes advantage of a sunny patch of dirt at the base of this white oak tree. Suggested chemical control during July, August, and up to mid-September is to cut Japanese barberry down to one inch from the ground and immediately apply straight glyphosate herbicide to the freshly cut stump using a paint brush or sponge applicator. Barberry bushes are an interesting and useful group of shrubs that are widely grown in gardens, mostly for their attractive leaf coloring, but also for their flowers and fruits, as well as for their hardiness, versatility and usefulness. Nobody, (especially not deer), eats the leaves or the prickly twigs. Barberry usually grows taller than a person. Basic facts about Dwarf Berberis. Sprouting produces more reproductive stems which produce more flowers, fruit, and seed than the original uncut or unbroken stems. Many can also be easily grown in pots a… Popular cultivars have purple or burgundy leaves and may be smaller in size. Be sure to consider this when growing barberry bushes, especially if you have small children. Breeding system is a monoecious condition whereby both male and female reproductive parts are consolidated into the same flower on the same plant (i.e. Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea (Purple Japanese Barberry) is always a spectacular addition to the landscape where it brings a strong color accent from spring to fall. Barberry shrubs make great additions to the landscape and are known for their rich color and year-round garden interest. As an exotic invasive shrub it has invaded open woods, woodland borders, pastures, fields, waste lots, abandoned building and house lots, roadsides, and natural area paths (Magee and Ahles, 2007). In spring, scented yellow flowers appear on arching stems. Japanese barberry is insect pollinated. Part III: Landscape and Ecosystem Damage: A Brief Introduction. 3. The stems have single spines along their length. For example, when you cut the top off any plant, the roots naturally respond by pushing up more top growth (sprouting), reducing the root reserves (carbohydrates and other growth compounds) and stressing the plant. It has small, oval-shaped green leaves with smooth edges. In that study, the Japanese barberries had the competitive edge over the native blueberries by being able to direct growth into root mass more effectively over the growing season. Cold weather stump application frees up time to control most woody invasive plants when there is no available time to do so during the summer months. The above suggested example may be modified to suit existing site conditions and the level of infestation. Leaves (variably sized to 1 1/4” long) typically turn attractive shades of orange, yellow and red in fall. In fact, pruning barberry plants may be the most work performed with this shrub. Do not plant or encourage the planting or transplanting of this species. Most commonly this is where plants with variegated leaves sprout pure green growths instead of variegated ones. A Suggested Japanese Barberry Example Using the IPM Procedure. Mechanical Controls: Pull, dig, cut, and burn. (8) Time of year of fruiting. Ward and Williams (2011) report that this species is established in 31 states and four Canadian provinces. Cold weather stump application (November through February; mean temperatures of 15.8 to 46.4 Fahrenheit (Reinartz, 1997) reduces the risk of contaminating non-target plants. Foliar application enters the leaves more easily during humid weather because the leaf cuticle / wax layer is thinner making the leaf more absorbent to the foliar – applied herbicide (Ware, 1996). --Diseases / Insects : Usually barberries have little or no trouble at all under normal landscape conditions, but some of the possible noted pests / diseases that could be encountered are: Bacterial leaf spot, anthracnose, root rots, rusts (Japanese Barberry is not susceptible), wilt, barberry aphid, barberry webworm, and possibly scale. Family Berberidaceae . Berberis Thunbergii Orange Dream This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Can you eat a barberry? Small red tinged, pale yellow flowers in mid-spring are followed by bright red, egg-shaped fruits. If you can’t hand-pull Japanese barberry (be careful of the thorns! Noteworthy Characteristics. When you mix a red, yellow, golden, orange, or variegated barberry with greens, limes, silvers, or golds, you create the kind of color story that ends up on magazine covers. 6. Stunning and so doable. It can root where branches touch the ground and where seeds are dropped in place to make… Small, yellow flowers are produced during the spring, but are not particularly noticeable since they are under the foliage. It can grow in full shade and established woods. Chemical Controls: The best time for any control option is just before a plant flowers. As stated in Part II, IPM Control Strategies for Exotic Invasive Plants, prevention is a cultural control of great value. 4. Young stems are reddish in color, older stems are grayer. Barberry bushes are hardy deciduous plants commonly used in gardens or as foundation bushes due to their low maintenance requirements and adaptability. Bright green leaves change to orange or reddish in the fall. Part II: IPM Control Strategies for Exotic Invasive Plants 4. Several types of barberry naturally grow small.These dwarf varieties won’t grow into towering, thorny giants that are difficult to prune.. However, it spreads from home and commercial gardens to natural areas that serve as suitable habitat for its germination, growth, and establishment.

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