Weed of the Month- September

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

(Provided by Master Gardener Peter Russell)

Native Origin: Introduced biennial from Europe, Invasive

Lifecycle: Garlic mustard is a biennial (two-year lifecycle), herbaceous plant that spreads rapidly by seed in many types of woodlands. One of the most invasive and difficult-to-control weeds in the region, it is a major threat to desirable woodland wildflowers, tree seedlings, and wildlife. A single Garlic Mustard plant is capable of producing up to 8,000 seeds in a season.

 Leaf Rosettes 

Leaf Rosettes 

Habitat: Garlic Mustard is a conspicuous understory plant. It is also found near disturbed areas such as trails, hedgerows, shaded roadsides, and forest edges. First-year plants form low rosettes of 4-8 leaves at ground level. Second-year flowering plants are erect, often multiple-stemmed, from a few inches to 4 feet tall.

Leaves: First-year rosettes have dark green, kidney-shaped leaves with scalloped margins and deep veins. In the second spring, a flower stalk rises from the rosette, having alternate, coarsely toothed, triangular leaves. Crushed leaves smell like garlic, especially in spring.

 Upper Leaves and Flowers

Upper Leaves and Flowers

Flowers. Clusters of small, white, 4-petaled flowers occur only on second-year plants, which can blossom from late April through June. Flowers appear at the top of stalks.

Fruit: Each flower develops into a slender, straight seedpod called a silique. (1"–2.5"  long). Pods are green at first, but turn tan as seeds ripen. Seed dispersion occurs in mid- to late summer. A single plant can produce as many as 3,000 seeds.

Control and Management: Pulling or digging first-year, non-flowering rosettes can be inefficient because many first-year plants will die naturally and because it is difficult to remove the entire root without digging. However, plants uprooted in the rosette stage have no chance of flowering and hence do not need to be removed from the area.
Hand-pulling or digging flowering, second-year plants can be effective for small infestations but is usually not practical in large or established patches. Plants can be pulled anytime during flowering and up until when seed pods are ready to shatter.
Cutting second-year plants close to the ground by hand or with a string trimmer may be effective. For best results, cut just as flowering begins.
After pulling or cutting, it is best to bag and remove all flowering plants. Garlic Mustard should not be composted, because seeds are likely to remain viable. Bagged plants can be landfilled.

Uses: Garlic mustard is a tasty, and nutritious vegetable! The first year rosettes can be foraged year-round, and are said to taste somewhat bitter. The root is also available year-round, and has a horseradish taste. The stems of the second-year plant can be eaten in early to mid-spring, or prior to flowering. These can be used in the same way as asparagus. Later in the year, the leaves of the flowering plants can also be consumed. It is recommended to forage from shadier areas- unless you prefer a more bitter taste. Some recipes using this versatile plant include pesto, salads, and just using it as a pot-herb on its own. 

References:
PCA Alien Plant Working Group
Forest Invasive Plant Working Group
Penn State University, Species Page 2001
The Foreaged Foodie

Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens 9/11 Survival Tree that Remembers, Inspires & Gives Hope

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The 9/11 archway sits in an idyllic setting for the trees at the Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens. A beautiful location where one can reflect, and remember family, friends, and colleagues who perished on 9/11.

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Three years ago, a 16-foot “Survivor Tree” archway at the Bartlett Arboretum was constructed with the collaboration of the Bartlett Tree Experts and the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

The “Survivor Tree,” a Bradford callery pear (Pyrus calleriana ‘Bradford’), was found alive in the rubble and replanted at the National September 11 Memorial Museum. Students from John Bowne High School in Flushing, Queens, took cuttings from the tree, 14 of which were planted in a memorial archway on the Arboretum property.

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The 16 foot x 12 foot x 8 foot archway was made of metal and bamboo over which the 14 World Trade Center “Survivor Tree” offspring trees were trained to create a canopy tunnel. An artifact from the rubble was also brought in and mounted at the entrance of the archway.

The trees were gifted to Bartlett Tree Experts by the 9/11 Memorial Museum as a thank you for their benevolence and continued care and commitment to the “Survivor Tree” and the Survivor Tree Seedling program. Bartlett Tree Experts then helped construct this living memorial dedicated to those who lost their lives during the attacks on the World Trade Center.

The offspring trees continue to mature and are tagged with numbered gold medallions that identify each, and, like the Survivor Tree, they continue to serve as landmarks symbolizing resilience and hope.

As we approach the 18th anniversary of this day, step into this secluded garden and take the time to remember those that perished. “We invite residents to gather and pay their respects to the residents of Stamford who perished, to the other victims that died in the attack and to the many lives forever changed on September 11,” said Jane von Trapp, CEO at the Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens.

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Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens + Yoga = Happiness!

Take a stroll through the perennial gardens, breath in the fresh air, roll out a yoga mat, and stretch with the birds and the trees on the trails.

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Have you tried Yoga at the Bartlett? Did you know that we offer Sunday morning 9 am yoga hikes with Viki Boyko. It's a  fantastic way to start your day in a beautiful natural serene setting. 

The yoga hike journey begins with finding a comfortable place to roll out your mat onto the soil and settling into some gentle yoga poses. Connect back to earth with simple stretches and poses.

Then continue the yoga in the trails finding different places to interact with nature. Perhaps a downward dog on a log? A gentle stretch along the boardwalk bridge?

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Your busy mind will be silenced as you hear the sounds of birds in the woods, wind in the trees and water gently flowing in the streams. Your soul will connect with nature as you walk and hear the crunch of the rocks and tree branches below your feet. Forest sounds — birds chirping, rustling leaves — have a  calming effect.

According to a recent New York Times article, “'Forest bathing,' " or immersing yourself in nature, is being embraced by doctors and others as a way to combat stress and improve health.”

So next time you need a little break from life and concrete, how about Sunday morning yoga at the Bartlett?  Come into the woods and let nature heal you! 

For more information, please visit bartlettarboretum.org  or contact the Yoga instructor, directly at viki@cix.co.uk. No registration necessary. The class will not be held in inclement weather. Member and non-Member rates apply.

 

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Bee Bee Tree

Bee Bee Tree

Tetradium daniellii, bee bee treeRutaceae. You are likely to hear this tree before you even see it. The nectar of this tree's small white flowers is known to attract all kinds of pollinators, particularly honey bees. Also known for its dark green, glossy leaves, it is quite a sight to behold.

Butterfly Weed

Butterfly Weed

Asclepias tuberosa, butterfly weed, Apocynaceae. This bright beauty will attract all types of pollinators to your garden. It is most known for being a Monarch Butterfly's favorite plant, as it is the only leaf their caterpillars can eat. Keep an eye our for their colorful blooms, and the colorful visitors they bring. 

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Lobelia cardinalis, Cardinal flower, Campanulaceae. From the moment it begins to bloom in mid to late July this bright red flower beckons Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and Swallowtail Butterflies. Clearly visible among the dark green foliage of high summer, the many tubular flowers on a strong upright stem charm human visitors to the garden as well.

Japanese Stewartia

Japanese Stewartia

Stewartia pseudocamellia, Japanese Stewartia, Theaceae. This beautiful tree stands tall and proud. Its bark camouflages with grays and browns, while its flowers show off a bright white with an orange center as they speckle through the dark green foliage. It is a true marvel to look at, and one you should surely come to see.