Athens, Ga. – Area Master Gardeners and participants in a new Certificate in Native Plants program will be among volunteers who will help eradicate an invasive plant species at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. The target area is along the Orange Trail, one of several nature trails that wind through hardwood forests and along the Middle Oconee River.
Volunteers will gather at the trailhead near the upper parking lot at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, and work until noon. The botanical garden is located one mile south of the Athens Loop 10, at 2450 South Milledge Ave. Volunteers are asked to bring gloves, pruners and a shovel if possible.
Chinese privet was introduced into North America in the mid 19th century. The low-maintenance evergreen shrub soon became a popular hedging plant. Birds have helped to distribute prolific seeds into natural areas. Chinese privet thrives in both sun and shade, forming dense thickets that shade out native species.
Garden volunteers Sue and Ed Wilde will lead this removal effort. They have made great strides in removing English Ivy, another exotic species that has escaped cultivation.
For more information, contact Shirley Berry at 706-542-6132.
The State Botanical Garden of Georgia is a 313-acre preserve which serves teaching, research, public service and outreach missions for the University of Georgia. The botanical garden is headquarters for the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance, a network of public gardens, government agencies, and environmental organizations committed to preserving Georgia’s endangered flora.