A new weed is coming your way....
We hope you never see it.

posted 9/24/14 from New Milford, CT

You may already have heard about Asian Mile-a-Minute Vine, (MAM), which was accidentally introduced into Pennsylvania, and is rapidly moving north, smothering fields, meadows, and woodland edges. An annual that can grow six inches a day, it blankets everything, blocking other plants’ light. Only tall trees may survive.

The invasion front is moving north. Four populations have been found in southern Litchfield County. The only way to stop this serious threat to New England's agriculture and environment is to prevent the spread of seeds.

In 2007, Mad Gardeners, a regional organization of dedicated professional and amateur gardeners, initiated an early detection/rapid response program to control MAM in Litchfield County. Among the accomplishments:

1. Hired student interns from 2007–2013 to search for and remove thousands of MAM plants in New Milford, Bridgewater, and Roxbury before plants and seeds spread to nearby towns.

2. Inspected, with the help of interns and volunteers, approximately 300 properties in and near the Litchfield County MAM populations.

3. Removed MAM plants on the approximately 125 properties where MAM was found, substantially reducing seed production. Early season pulling and constant surveillance almost eliminated seed production each year.

4. Launched a public awareness campaign in northern Fairfield and Litchfield Counties. Worked with towns, environmental and agricultural organizations, state legislators and agencies, and volunteers. 

5. Explored the effectiveness of a range of control methods.

mile-a-minute vine: not in my backyard! Not in your backyard!

Douglas Tallamy, entomologist and Chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, describes how Mile-a-Minute Vine took over his property in Pennsylvania.

“...I watched dispersal in action on our own 10 acres in the span of three short years. The first year, I found a dozen or so mile-a-minute seedlings and pulled them all out with little effort. The next year, about 50 seedlings gave it a try on our property, but I got those in time as well. The third year, trillions of baby mile-e-minutes had sprouted everywhere; not just under bird perches but throughout the woods and fields. My wife and I pulled them up by the wagonload, but by summer's end the ones we missed formed a dense continuous mat of vines that covered all of the vegetation within 10 feet of the ground. Zillions of new berries were produced, and I am doomed to fight mile-a-minute for the rest of my days.”

—from Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens, by Douglas Tallamy, Timber Press, 2007