The Bigger Picture: Tennessee

“No one made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.”

– Edmund Burke

It’s easy to feel alone when surrounded by a field of Garlic Mustard; Your property’s annual battle on the horizon.  Reject that negativity and know you’re not alone.  In addition to your hard work, other organizations around the country are working towards ecological health with their own Garlic Mustard Challenges and work days.

We recently received an update from Tennessee’s Department of Environment and Conservation. They had great success with an Earth Day event on Roan Mountain with their dedicated volunteers:

Sites pulled last year were revisited and pulled again and additional sites were pulled for the first time.  We definitely saw a difference at the sites that had been pulled last spring.  The GAMU [Garlic Mustard] was later this year than last.  In 2012, the weather was extremely warm early on and the GAMU was blooming and even beginning to develop seed pods by March 31st!  This year, the lower elevation plants were just beginning to show a few blooms.  The upper elevation plants were not bolting at all.

This year, the early spring ephemeral wildflowers were in full display and we saw just what we were working to protect:  squirrel corn, Dutchman’s breeches, trillium, bloodroot, twin leaf, may apple, white phacelia, and even more species in carpets on Roan Mountain’s flanks.  We feel that with a few more years of effort, TN Highway 143 on the Roan will be under control for garlic mustard with only annual surveys and rapid response pulling or spraying necessary.   We hope to develop contacts and agreements with the county and state road crews to ensure that they use only clean fill and aggregate materials when doing road work in the area, to decrease the probability of future infestations.”

Big thank you to Lisa Huff for sharing your progress with us!

For more information on Tennessee’s natural areas, visit their website at:  To share your Garlic Mustard progress or stories, please email Rachel at


2 thoughts on “The Bigger Picture: Tennessee

  1. I definitely need to encouragement! We have pulled for 5 years now in the same area and I am amazed that there is still more to do. One bag down…..

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