To the Editor:

Now is a good time for people to check their properties for the new invasive plant, Mile-a-Minute vine (MAM).

This invasive vine could be anywhere, but is most frequently spotted near existing populations.

In our area, properties within one mile of the following locations are known to be at risk:

Hill and Plain School and New Milford High School in New Milford;

Dorwin Hill Road and Cascade Road on the New Milford/Bridgewater border;

Central Roxbury, including Painter Hill Road, Good Hill Road, and Church Street; and

Crofut Road in Roxbury.

A single MAM plant was found in the Carmen Hill area of New Milford, and another in the Cedar Knolls area of New Milford -- it is likely there is a larger patch of MAM in or near each of these areas.

Mile-a-Minute vine is an annual vine from Asia. Plants can grow three feet a week. A single plant can produce as many as 2000 seeds. The vines can blanket all other vegetation, including shrubs and small trees, by the end of the growing season.

MAM is easy to recognize.

At this time of year, most MAM vines are large. They are usually climbing on other vegetation. The leaves are perfect equilateral triangles -- none of the edges are notched. The stems are covered with tiny but annoying barbs.

If you think you've found MAM, please report it to knelson@madgardeners.com or the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group at 860-486-6448.

Somebody will contact you to verify the identification. If you have MAM, members of Mad Gardeners' Mile-a-Minute Vine Control Project can advise you on control options and will, if possible, remove and dispose of the plants before more seeds are produced.

More information on MAM, including maps, can be found at www.madgardeners.com and http://www.hort.uconn.edu/mam.

Triangles (equilateral), barbs (tiny) on a vine -- please report all sightings.

Kathleen Nelson

Mad Gardeners'

Mile-a-Minute

Vine Control Project

New Milford