Garlic Mustard Control in PEI National Park
The management and control of invasive plant species occupies a significant part of the PEI National Park Ecological Integrity Management & Protection program. Five plant species are targeted for annual detection surveys and management. Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is one of the targeted species. It was first identified in a vegetation survey in 2004 on the Green Gables Golf Course. Since then, a great deal of time and effort has been devoted to control, containment and possible eradication of this species within the park. To date, garlic mustard has a limited distribution in PEI. The landscape distribution of garlic mustard in PEI National Park slightly increased in 2014 despite 10 years of intense effort, however, the area of garlic mustard within this distribution has declined over the time period.
Management has consisted primarily of hand pulling and disposal. In 2014 an opportunity arose to try burying a population of garlic mustard. We had observed positive results when a small area was buried during golf course restoration in 2009, so when an ecological restoration project which involved the removal of unused infrastructure was slated in an area of garlic mustard we took the opportunity.
In the fall of 2014, six dilapidated outbuildings on park property were demolished, burned and buried on site. The property was also host to garlic mustard despite our annual control efforts. We buried the infected work area with approximately 12 inches of new soil. Heavy equipment was excluded from the infected portions of the site and thoroughly cleaned and washed before leaving the site. Demolished material was either removed as hazardous waste or burned and buried on site. The site will be rehabilitated by planting Acadian tree species. We are anxious for spring to check the site for any signs of garlic mustard. Definitely too soon to claim success, but we are hopeful this will have positive results. Stay tuned for an update this fall.
For more information on garlic mustard, check out our website: http://peiinvasives.ca/garlic-mustard
- Linda Thomas, PEIISC Member and Resource Conservation Technician at PEI National Park