From its beginning in 1920, the Garden Club of Virginia has directed public attention to conservation issues around the state by establishing Conservation as its first standing committee. Through that committee, the GCV pledged to conserve natural resources, plant trees and deal with pests and pesticides. Today, the Garden Club of Virginia is still leading the way by focusing attention on conservation issues through educational leadership initiatives and legislative involvement.
Tree-of Heaven is a deciduous tree up to 80 feet tall with compound leaves that resemble native sumac and walnut species. Although once used as an ornamental, the flowers, leaves, and wood all give off an offensive odor likened to rotting peanuts. It is found in 42 states, and throughout Virginia, growing in numerous habitats, from the interior of large National Parks to the center of cities. Tree-of-heaven produces numerous wind-born seeds that allow it to invade naturally disturbed sites in natural areas. It is one of the most widespread weed trees in roadsides and in Shenandoah National Park. It is a fast-growing tree that can damage pipes and other structures in the urban landscape and outcompete native plant species in natural areas. It produces a chemical inhibiting the growth of other plants, giving it a competitive advantage. Control with herbicides is effective and appropriate on a small scale, and high priority areas such as Shenandoah National Park have actively tried to eliminate it where practical. In addition, promising biological controls are being explored.
Photo credit Annemarie Smith, ODNR Division of Forestry, bugwood.org
GCV Position Statements
Uranium Working Group
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
EPA Great Waters Program
James River Association
Piedmont Environmental Council
The Nature Conservancy
The Virginia Coalition
VA League of Conservation Voters
Virginia Conservation Network
Virginia Museum of Natural History
Virginia Outdoors Foundation