Garlic Mustard, a real trouble-maker of a plant, is flowering in many areas of Lebanon. Be on the lookout for plants with 4 white petals
WHY concern about this plant?
Native to Europe where it has many insect predators and diseases, it is only found there in small colonies. Here, there are no insects that eat it and no disease to keep it in check. It invades forests: It disrupts forest ecosystems in several ways. It has chemicals that are toxic to soil microbes and can greatly reduce propagation of native plants. It can out-compete native plants and reduce biodiversity once it gets established.
It is a fierce competitor: A single plant can produce hundreds of seeds. It has no predators here. It is a biennial and its seeds can be viable for 10 years. Once established, it is a long-term project to reduce it. It is best to catch it early, before it turns into a long-term project.
WHAT can you do?
Learn to identify the plant (see link). Help with pulling on your property and along road-sides in your neighborhood.
Pull the plant and put it in trash bags: Be sure to pull from the base of the stalk and wiggle the plant so the entire white root comes up. Be sure bags are tightly closed and properly disposed of. Tell your neighbors and help organize socially distant community pulls (and tell us about them!) if you find larger colonies in your neighborhood.
Help pull on the Mascoma River Greenway and Northern Rail Trail!
For the next two weeks, the City will have signs describing Garlic Mustard and bags for disposing of the plants (no trash please!) at a couple of locations on each of these popular public paths. Please stop and pull when you can, bag the pulled plants, and leave the bag, securely closed, for the next volunteer. Thanks to the Rec & Parks Department and DPW for coordinating disposal of full bags of Garlic Mustard. Please help by moving only securely tied & full bags to the trailhead of the rail trail (near CCBA) or to the MRG parking lot at Slayton Hill/Mascoma St so they can be picked up. Email me if bags need replacing.
Report locations where you find Garlic Mustard (better yet, where you pull it!): there are many reporting apps these days:
try iNaturalist or EDDMaps.
With thanks to The Hanover Biodiversity Committee for permission to use their text and links.
Thanks and stay well,
Sarah Riley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lebanon Conservation Commission
Sunday, May 17th – Saturday, May 30th
Task: Pull the Garlic Mustard 2nd year growth
Drop off locations/Pick Up:
- Slayton Underpass Parking Lot – Picked Up Monday/Friday – Recreation
- Alice Peck Day Parking Lot – Picked up Monday/Friday – Recreation
- Northern Rail Trail Head (by CCBA) Picked up Thursday – Landfill