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.
Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club participates every year in ATC’s Garlic Mustard Challenge. Join volunteers in friendly competition against other clubs' events to pull the most invasives and win the 2019 Garlic Mustard Challenge!
We will have extra gloves and trash bags to offer volunteers, but each volunteer should dress in sturdy boots, long pants and long sleeve shirts from protection against poison ivy, ticks and scratches from other brush. Please pack layers you are comfortable working in, lunch and plenty of water, and a trowel is useful but not required. If you have any questions, please contact the leader.
Please register your interest in the sign-up below. The deadline to register online is May 16th.