Week 1: Updates

I am very pleased to announce that so far, we’ve collectively pulled 450 pounds of garlic mustard! By our estimation, that’s 15 large trash bags full. That’s an awful lot when you take a look at the size of those rosettes. Big kudos go out to our early reporters and their helpers in the field. Thank you for leading the charge!

And now for the numbers…

Heavy Weight Division:
Huron Arbor Cluster (0 lbs) and West Michigan Cluster (0 lbs) are playing out a game of chicken, both waiting for the other to make a move.

Middle Weight Division:
Headwaters Cluster stakes out first place in week one, with reporters from Bear Creek Nature Park pulling 150 lbs. Mid-Michigan Cluster is just warming up, reporting 30 lbs pulled from a single private residence. Southwest Corner Cluster (0 lbs) is waiting to get on the board.

Light Weight Division:
Grand-Raisin Cluster (195 lbs) takes an early lead thanks to the efforts at Ives Road Fen Preserve – nice work! Lakeplain Cluster, Southeast Hub, Western Lake Erie Cluster, and Lakes Country Cluster are also waiting to get on the board (0 lbs)

CWMA Division:
Farther north, our Cooperative Weed Management Area groups are tied (Northeast Michigan CWMA; Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network; RRIP-IT-UP – 0 lbs). Since spring comes a little later up there, the growing season is offset and they’ll be able to keep pulling after garlic mustard in the Clusters starts going to seed.

Out of Cluster:
Our Out of Cluster folks have reported 75 lbs pulled from the Pine River Elementary Nature Trail. Way to go, guys!

Earth Day is coming up next week! Celebrate early by getting out and pulling garlic mustard this weekend. There are several garlic mustard pulls posted on our searchable events calendar, along with other great hands-on and educational opportunities like:
-Tree Planting in a Floodplain Forest
-Lyme Disease: What All Nature-Enthusiasts Should Know
-and plenty of Earth Day celebrations!

And of course, if you have garlic mustard, you can always pull in your own backyard. Good luck out there, and have a great weekend!Pulling GM at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute

(Photo courtesy of Pierce Cedar Creek Institute)

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2 thoughts on “Week 1: Updates

  1. Does pulling out the plant remove it in that spot forever? I don’t think so. It think a piece of root must stay behind and reprout a new plant!

    • Hi Kit! You’re right; garlic mustard has an impressive tap root, which means it can store up a lot of energy. If you don’t pull out the plant roots-and-all, it can draw on all that stored energy to re-sprout, bolt, and go to seed. However – just to clarify in case it’s helpful – garlic mustard does not spread by rhizome like Phragmites and Japanese knotweed. Instead, each garlic mustard plant has it’s own root structure.

      You’re also right that removing garlic mustard from a site once doesn’t remove it forever. Eliminating the seed bed is the hard labor, but the site should also be monitored every year to make sure seeds aren’t being carried in by hikers or wildlife and starting new populations.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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