Project Completion Date: Ongoing
The presence of poison hemlock has been confirmed on approximately 11-acres of the Phillips Farm. This invasive plant is quite toxic, and while it has been present in the US since the 1800s, distribution of the plant has increased significantly in the past decade. Learn more about poison hemlock on the fact sheet at the bottom of this article.
The Phillips Farm Subcommittee (now Open Spaces Subcommittee) mapped the presence of plants that were visible in spring 2022 and locations confirmed by the Loudoun County Extension Service. These are the same locations for treatment in 2023 and 2024.
To manage this difficult invasive plant, the Waterford Foundation has retained NatureWorks (previously Sustainable Solutions) to initiate applications of an herbicide, approved by EPA for application in and around aquatic environments to the affected areas. Treatments in 2022 and 2023 made a significant impact in the distribution of the hemlock on the Farm; however, further treatment will be needed for the next several years to fully control the invasive poison hemlock.
While the Foundation has rarely used herbicides on the Farm, the approved management plan for the Phillips Farm permits the use of herbicides when absolutely necessary. Out of concern for public health and for the potential for poison hemlock to continue to spread, the Foundation elected to utilize herbicide as part of an integrated approach to invasives management that will also include mowing and cutting of flower heads before they seed and promoting the establishment of native plant species.