The Guilford Conservation Commission first recognized the challenges presented by invasive plants back in 2012. We received $1000 from the Town of Guilford the following year in order to study invasive plants and provide information to residents. We began by mailing an Invasives Brochure to Guilford residents and set up displays of invasive plants that year at the Guilford Fair, Broad Brook Grange, and Town Meeting.
Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 brought attention to Japanese knotweed throughout the state. State biologist Brian Colleran visited Guilford several times over the next two years to demonstrate removal of young knotweed plants on the Green River. He also gave a well-attended invasive plants presentation at the Grange.
Brian left us with the “everything I learned about knotweed” paper he wrote after two years of working on knotweed eradication around the state. You can read it here.
The GCC prepared also prepared the following handouts for those who visited our displays or attended our workshops:
We purchased a Pullerbear to help tackle invasive woody shrubs like bittersweet, bush honeysuckle, and multiflora rose. The Pullerbear is available for loan.
The GCC also maintains a library cart at the town office with several books on invasive plants for loan.
We continue to monitor and remove invasive plants on the Carriage Trail in Weeks Forest. We also communicate with the town road crew about invasive plants they are trying to manage along our roads. We investigated Giant Hogweed when the road crew thought they were spotting it along several roads. The plants turned out to be Cow Parsnip, a native plant in the same family, and one whose sap can burn skin if exposed to the sun, but less severely than the invasive Giant Hogweed. Here is information we pulled together on Giant Hogweed. We continue to monitor the Cow Parsnip close to the edge of roads, removing it as we have time in order to prevent burns to the road crew when they’re cutting edges. In recent years, we’ve spotted yet another invasive plant in this family, Wild Chervil, and have removed it from our roadsides to prevent its spread.
Resources for Landowners
The Vermont Invasives website is the most useful resource for landowners looking for information on invasive plants and insects. Their website includes fact sheets for invasive plants found throughout the state. These include recommendations or resources on effective treatments. Here are their fact sheets for invasive plants commonly found in Guilford: