Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council

April 11, 2016
Our Mission


To protect Tennessee's unique natural heritage from the ecological and economic harm of invasive plants through research, education, and policy. 

Kitty McCracken, 
TN-EPPC President
Letter from the President

All across Tennessee plants are emerging from winter dormancy, and a riot of color can be seen along highways and in parks and gardens. Along with native plants, such as serviceberry, dogwood, and eastern redbud trees, many of the forest floor plants and native grasses and forbs are beginning to fill the landscape. With all the wet weather this spring, now is a good time to begin culling out the invasive shrubs and vines. Also, Callery pear trees, the highly invasive Bradford pear hybrid, are rapidly shooting up in power line rights-of-way, roadsides and fields, threatening to out-compete the native trees. They can be easily identified for removal now, with their white blossoms. In this vein, TN-EPPC has worked with the Garden Clubs of America in Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville and Chattanooga in Weed Wrangles, as articles in this newsletter indicate. These events teach volunteers invasive plant removal methods, and the results have been amazing! See pictures below.
TN-EPPC continues involvement in education. Disseminating informative brochures and talking with people at such events as the Down to Earth Festival in Memphis and the Plant Natives 2016 Symposium by the Tennessee Valley Chapter of the Wild Ones in Chattanooga are worthwhile ways to inform the public of invasive plant threats in our own gardens as well as parks, nature reserves and other public and private lands.
On a final note, I would like to thank Justin Coffey, for his outstanding contributions during his time on the Board of Directors. Justin will be taking a position with the U.S. Forest Service in the London, Kentucky District of the Daniel Boone National Forest.
*Photos taken at various Weed Wrangle events across Tennessee
News and Resources

In response to the harmful impacts invasive species have on the Nation's natural and cultural resources, the Department of the Interior released an interdepartmental report, Safeguarding America's Lands and Waters from Invasive Species: A National Framework for Early Detection and Rapid Response. The report proposes to stop their spread through early detection and rapid response (EDRR) actions-a coordinated set of actions to find and eradicate potential invasive species before they spread and cause harm.

I call the bloom period of the invasive exotic Chinese Wisteria ( Wisteria sinensis) the Purple Plague, because the long, grape-like clusters of blooms are purple, and because the bloom period of this invader visually emphasizes its plague-like effect on our southeastern US woodlands.

A simple recipe for helping warblers

Efforts to control invasive plant species and to help plants withstand extreme events could be boosted by a new international study led by researchers from The University of Queensland.

There are tiny, unseeable creatures doing tiny, unseeable things to help people, wildlife and plants all around us. Microbes are everywhere-inside the dirt, on your dog and even in your stomach. And scientists increasingly want to harness their powers for good. One way could be to manage invasive species.

Cal-IPC, in partnership with toxicologist Susan Kegley of the Pesticide Research Institute, has published a new manual on Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Wildland Stewardship: Protecting Wildlife When Using Herbicides for Invasive Plant Management. The manual includes field techniques from experienced land managers as well as risk charts for commonly used herbicides.

Big win for bird-friendly native plants in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County!
Ranunculus ficaria, or the fig buttercup, forms dense mats and is one of many plants remaking Kentucky and Indiana's landscapes, threatening to replace a variety of native wildflowers including populations of wild geranium, crinkleroot, certain native onions and trillium.
A team of researchers led by faculty at the University of Georgia have received a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to find new ways of combating Johnsongrass, one of the most widespread and troublesome agricultural weeds in the world.
I remember when seeing a robin in the winter was an oddity. McCormac told me there is a reason why winter robins are common now, and it's something that is not necessarily good for the birds.
He said all the fruit-bearing, non-native ornamental trees and plants we landscape with cause some robins to stay put instead of migrating far enough south to escape our often-brutal winters.

Several areas of town have been targeted for removal of the offending foliage.

Invasive Plant Control, Inc. is currently looking for summer paid interns or seasonal field technicians to work with crews this summer and fall. Interns/employees would be working primarily on the east coast doing on the ground invasive plant management alongside about 15 other interns.  The work is of a physical nature but very rewarding.

Steven T Manning
Invasive Plant Control, Inc.
PO Box 50556
Nashville, TN 37205

Garlic mustard may be unfairly scapegoated as a major threat to our native forests. Garlic mustard is very visible compared to some other threats, explained Victoria Nuzzo, a natural area botanist with Natural Area Consultants.
TN-EPPC will soon be TN-IPC

2016 will be a special year for TN- EPPC. We have voted to change our name. Following the lead of many other councils around the country, we will soon be the Tennessee Invasive Plant Council or TN- IPC. As part of the name change, we will also update and renovate our Web site and premiere a new logo. There is much paperwork in our future, but for now we are still TN- EPPC and our current Web site, though aging with a few problems, remains a vital resource for information on invasive plant species in the state. We have updated our logo, and it will soon reflect our name change as well. Many thanks to Steve Manning and Invasive Plant Control, Inc. for sponsoring the design and Patterson Clark for designing. We will keep you updated on our progress!
Weed Wrangles around Tennessee
The four coordinated Weed Wrangle events in Knoxville on Saturday, March 5, were a great success. One Weed Wrangle event took place at the newly announced Baker Creek Preserve, a 100-acre park managed by the Legacy Parks Foundation, that connects to Knoxville's Urban Wilderness 42-mile trail system. Baker Creek Preserve is unique because, in addition to recreation, a major mission at the preserve is ecological restoration and preservation, which includes invasive plant management. To help achieve this mission, the Knoxville Garden Club organized a Weed Wrangle invasive plant pull at the preserve, along Baker Creek itself. TN-EPPC Board member and treasurer, Alix Pfennigwerth, served as a Team Leader at the event, teaching the 20 volunteers in attendance how to identify and remove the invasive plant species choking out Baker Creek. Throughout the morning, volunteers removed privet, bush honeysuckle, multiflora rose, English ivy, winter creeper, and Japanese honeysuckle from the creek corridor, and by the afternoon, the creek was transformed. Native sycamore, maple and cherry trees now shaded the meandering creek and the open riparian understory, while unique native wetland rush species speckled the creek downstream, unimpeded by encroaching invasive plants. By the end of the day, volunteers were already asking when the next weed wrangle they could help with would be! Stay tuned for information on the 2017 Weed Wrangle events, which are expected to take place in several states, based on the success of the 2015 and 2016 Weed Wrangles in Tennessee. 
TNEPPC would like to thank our partners the Knoxville Garden Club for organizing the Weed Wrangles, Legacy Parks Foundation for hosting this weed pull at Baker Creek Preserve, and Invasive Plant Control, Inc. for sponsoring a weed wrangle tool bank in Knoxville! 
The Nashville and Memphis Weed Wrangles were also successful. An excellent article about the Memphis event can be found here. We so appreciate the wonderful work everyone accomplished!
Featured Non-native Invasive Plant

Japanese Wisteria (Wisteria floribunda (Willd.) DC.)
and Chinese Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis (Sims) DC.)

Both are considered invasive and can displace native vegetation and kill trees and shrubs by girdling them. Look for their purple blooms now. They have become serious pest plants in parts of the southeast. Click here for more information from the U.S. Forest Service. Whatever you do, don't plant them and spread the word far and wide.


April 16 - Native plant sale, Fernbank Science Center, Atlanta
April 15-17 - Georgia Botanical Society Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage, Valdosta (banquet at Valdosta State University Center)
April 22-23 - Georgia Youth Birding Competition. Finish and banquet at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, Mansfield, GA
May 7 - JAKES Day, Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, Mansfield. GA
May 7 - 14th Annual Invasive Plant Conference, to be held at the Lanark NaturePlex ( in Millbrook, Alabama.
May 14 - Endangered Species Day, Atlanta Botanical Garden
May 14 - Privet pull, Melvin L. Newman Wetlands Center, Clayton County Water Authority, Hampton ,GA
May 25 - 27: Mid-South Prairie Symposium at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee        

Plant Conservation in Tennessee - Monday, April 11
NEW Film Night - Tuesday, April 19
Portable Pollinator Garden Workshop - Saturday, April 30
Restoration of the American Chestnut - Monday, May 9
Landscapes in Progress - Saturday, May 14
May Prairie and AEDC Meadow Walk - Saturday, May 28


Membership in TN- EPPC is open to anyone with an interest in the problem of invasive exotic plants, their identification, impacts, and control. Our members include professional land managers, private landowners, individual homeowners, public and private recreation areas, educational institutions, conservation and gardening organizations, and government agencies. Join us by becoming a member online, payment through PayPal.
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Feel free to contact any TNEPPC Board Member with questions or comments about invasive, nonnative plants.  Our contact information can be found on our website.  We'd love to hear from you!