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Grab Some Garlic Mustard at Roan Mountain to Win the Challenge

volunteer invasive species removal

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is an invasive, non-native plant, which has infested many parts of the Appalachian Trail Corridor. Because it has few natural enemies in North America, it is capable of out-competing native plants by depriving them of sunlight, moisture and space.

Garlic mustard is a biennial plant, meaning it has a two year life cycle. In its first year, it develops kidney-shaped leaves that grow close to the ground in what is called a basal rosette; the leaves smell like garlic when crushed. In their second year, the plants rapidly grow upward and develop small white flowers. The flowers are soon replaced by slender seed pods, which are capable of spreading hundreds of seeds once mature.

Because it has a shallow root system, garlic mustard can be easily pulled from the ground. The best time to pull garlic mustard is early spring when the second year plants have grown in height and produced flowers. To prevent spread, it is best to conduct removal efforts before the seed pods mature.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club, the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, and Roan Mountain State Park is hosting an event on the Roan Mountain Massif to introduce volunteers to the invasive species Garlic Mustard and remove them from the A.T. corridor. Volunteers will participate in friendly competition against other clubs' events to pull the most invasives and win the 2018 Garlic Mustard Challenge!

This event begins at 9:30 am on April 21 at the parking lot of the Roan Mountain State Park Headquarters and will conclude around 2:30 pm.

Work gloves and trash bags will be provided. Please wear long pants and sturdy shoes or boots. Pack layers you are comfortable working in, lunch, water, and a trowel (useful but not required).

Please use this link to register your participation.