HGC & Conservation

The Hanover Garden Club (HGC) works with the Biodiversity

Committee to support many of the projects in town such as the removal

of invasive plants and deer management issues. It has also provided financial support for these efforts through printed information and posters.


Information links are available on the Biodiversity Sub Committee

web page of the Hanover Conservation Commission:

HGC members and community participants are always needed to help on annual restoration efforts such as the garlic mustard neighborhood plant-pull parties, and young buckthorn removal at the Tanzi tract and conserved areas of the town.

The committee seeks to build a list of those with knowledge of basic woodland wild flowers, and to create a team to help with deer browse inventory.

The Hanover Garden Club Conservation Committee first began to focus on invasive plants in 1999, with Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) as its first target. This plant is very aggressive, and had recently appeared in our area. To inform both garden club members and the Upper Valley about the harm caused by this and other invasive plants, the Garden Club has an educational campaign to raise public awareness, with a variety of activities, such as a public forum and slide shows for area garden clubs and schools. It has also produced several brochures with the help of grant funds from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In 2013 the focus was on Garlic Mustard, and members of the Hanover Garden Club worked with members of the Hanover Biodiversity Committee in their efforts to eradicate this invasive plant. Work days were organized and materials circulated to local libraries. Garlic mustard will again be the focus of our efforts in 2014.

Many species are on the New Hampshire prohibited species list. The Hanover Biodiversity Commission notes among those to watch out for locally are:

          •  Japanese Barberry                       •  Burning Bush
          •  Giant Hogweed                           •  Common Buckthorn
          •  Japanese Knotweed                     •  Glossy Buckthorn
          •  Mile-a-minute vine                      •  Garlic Mustard

The Hanover Garden Club organizes annual conservation projects. Projects from recent years include:

•  collection of used plant pots that are then recycled and used in our plant sale
•  work on a rain garden near the Black Center
•  group activities eradicating invasive plants in the Hanover area

Photo left: Bill Johnson, Photo right: James R Allison, 

  Autumn Olive has invaded Hanover Center

 This plant has appeared on:

• Hanover Center Road – particularly near white church and cemetery.

• Dogford Road -- heavy in hedgerows near Pineo Hill Road.

• Wolfeboro Road – hedgerow, fields.


Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)--- This plant, native to Asia, was introduced about thirty ago in ‘conservation wildlife packages’. Spread mainly by birds, the plant escapes yards and overpowers native vegetation. It has no native predators (insect or disease) – a truly efficient competitor. It grows rapidly; prefers sun; grows in old fields, hedgerows and forest edges.


A few facts about the plant:

• Flowers are pale cream-colored, tubular-shaped, with four petals.

• Flowers grow in clusters from base of leaf stems and are extremely fragrant.

• Leaves are alternate, untoothed, oval, 1-3”long ; dark gray-green on top, pale under.

• Tiny silvery scales cover twigs, leaves, and fruits.

• Twigs have silvery tan color; sometimes with sharp thorns.

• Fruits are initially brown, and turn red when ripe.

• Tolerates drought, wind & air pollution; will re-sprout if cut. Forms dense thickets.

• Roots are nitrogen-fixing, so plant can grow in infertile habitats, and can modify soil suitability for native species.

• Trees have mound-shape (often lopsided), and appear white when wind  blows.


Be careful not to confuse with native willows.


Website: (has other good links)

What can you do?

Dig out small plants. For large plants, cut stem in late summer or early autumn, then paint the cut stem with a 20% solution of Roundup. Or, cut frequently

several times/year, several years.


For local assistance with identification or control contact:
Helene Hickey, Hanover Garden Club  ( 643-1715)

Judith Reeve, Hanover Conservation Commission  (


Barbara McIlroy, ( 643-5844)


Source: Hanover Biodiversity Commission

Garlic Mustard - Invasive but Can Be Stopped


Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) crowds out native wildflowers and degrades wildlife habitat. It can grow in full shade, produce 100-1000 seeds, and quickly take over the forest understory. It has no native predaators (insect or disease) and it is allelopathic (has a chemical that reduces tree and wildflower regeneration).


How to identify Garlic Mustard:

  • It blooms and is easiest to find in May

  • Has clusters of 4-petaled, white flowers at ends of stalks and sideshoots

  • A white tap root with an "S" curve near the top of the root

  • Smells like garlic when it's leaves are crushed 


What we can do:

Monitor frequently and pull plants before July, when they set seed. Plants are easy to remove by hand. Grasp near the ground and pull up the white taproot. For larger infestations on your property, properly applied herbicides may be an option. See links below for details.



Composting may not kill it. Place in a plastic bag and put in the trash.


Here is a link to more information:

 (click on 'general info' link at bottom of page)


Source: Hanover Biodiversity Commission