Here’s an opportunity to gain some hands-on knowledge about invasive plants plaguing Connecticut.
Visit Gillette Castle in East Haddam on the third Sunday of June, July, August, and September, to learn how to identify and manage invasive plants that are likely or may soon try to establish on your property.
Master Gardeners with the University of Connecticut Master Gardener Program will speak, help identify, and answer questions about locally prevalent invasive plants.
These free education sessions run from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, with a nature walk along the trails at Gillette’s Castle at 1:00 pm (kids are welcome).
The woodlands around Gillette Castle make a great invasive plant training ground. One of the major invasives there is Chinese wisteria. Chinese wisteria was planted around the castle grounds as a decorative landscape vine years ago. But, as Chinese wisteria will do when left to its natural devices, it spread … and spread … and spread.
Most of the ornamental wisteria you see planted in Connecticut is Chinese wisteria and, left untended, will act the same – spread and spread. When Chinese wisteria’s large purple flowers are in bloom it’s pretty easy to identify where the vine has spread into trees along some of Connecticut’s highways. It aggressively send roots underground and vines above ground choking out and weighing down everything it comes into contact with.
During the nature walks on each Sunday, attendees will see just how much Chinese wisteria has spread along some of the castle trails and learn about the active project to reduce the infestation of Chinese wisteria at Gillette Castle.
Meet at the Gillette Castle State Park Visitors Center at 11:00 am this Sunday, June 16 or the following Sundays of July 21, August 18, and/or September 22.
Questions? Call 203-208-6085 or email AliensatGilletteCastle@gmail.com.
Before attending one of these informational sessions, get a heads-up on the many invasive plants, shrubs and trees altering Connecticut’s landscape by wandering around the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group website. You’ll be better armed to absorb the information you’ll hear during your Gillette Castle visit.