Join the PAC “Kudzu Warriors” to help eradicate Kudzu (and other non-native and invasive species) at the PAC protected Norman Wilder Forest located off of HWY 176! Contact PAC to see how you can help!
Click the links below for PAC’s Kudzu Projects:
A brief history of Kudzu in the United States:
Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) is a member of the pea family and is native to southern Japan and southeastern China. It is a semi-woody vine and it has beautiful, fragrant purple flowers in the late summer.
Kudzu was first introduced to the United States in 1876 at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where countries from around the world were invited build exhibits for the occasion. Japan built beautiful gardens including Kudzu. The fragrant, beautiful blooms attracted gardeners in the U.S who decided to introduce the plant into their home gardens.
In the 1920’s the plant was promoted as fodder for animals, and in the 1930’s, the Soil Conservation Service promoted the plant for a natural erosion control. During the Great Depression, hundreds of men were put to work, through the Civilian Conservation Corps, planting Kudzu.
In 1953, the United States stopped advocating the use of Kudzu for erosion control, and in 1972 it was declared a weed!
Kudzu grows rapidly, up to one foot of new growth per day! It creates a solid blanket of leaves and vines that smother and out compete our native species. The vines are capable of girdling woody stems and tree trunks and they can break branches and uproot trees and shrubs by the sheer weight of the vines and leaves as they engulf the canopy of the tree or shrub.
Join the effort to eradicate this highly invasive weed from our community! It all starts with YOU! PAC would love your help on our Norman Wilder Forest site! However, the eradication of Kudzu (and other non-native and invasive species) from our community can be done anywhere and started any time–the sooner the better! But, if we sit idly by, doing nothing, this and other non-native species will slowly (or rapidly!) out compete our beautiful and ecologically important native species which add the diversity that all of us have come to love in Southern Appalachia! Please contact PAC if you are interested in learning more about non-native and invasive species!
Click the link to read Nathan Bartlett’s (PAC’s 2011 summer intern) article printed in the Tryon Daily Bulletin on July 1, 2011:PAC Kudzu Warriors
For more information on non-native and invasive plants and management practices, click on the links below to download and view publications from the US Forest Service.