Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > November 2016 > IN THE DIRT with DOUG - VINES OFF THE TREES

IN THE DIRT with DOUG - VINES OFF THE TREES

  Now that the fall season is in full swing with leaves falling fast and furious, as I drive around different neighborhoods I can see all the trees that have vines growing on them.  Not a good idea and I will explain why it is not a good idea.
Here, in Central Virginia, the more common vines in our trees are English Ivy, Wisteria, Virginia Creeper, and Honeysuckle.  Of these four vines I would say that the English Ivy is the most common and, at the same time, the most damaging to trees.  So, let’s all get the ivy and other vines out of our trees.
Vines should simply not be allowed to grow on or in trees.  The vines can reach out beyond the tree leaves and block the sunlight.  With sunlight cut down, photosynthesis is reduced and tree health suffers.  Also, the added weight can break branches.
Another problem with vines in our trees is that the foliage and stems collect organic material in the form of loose bark, dead leaves, and dust.  This mixture creates soil that collects in the bark and in crotches, but worse, it builds up on the root flares of trees. 
Ground covers should not be growing at the immediate base of trees.  Over the years the dirt, leaves, bark, etc. create organic matter and creates a condition similar to trees being planted too deep in the ground.  Girdling, root rot, and possible death of the tree could occur. 
If you have vines growing in your trees and you want to correct the problem, here are a couple simple tips to do:
  1.  Cut the vines at the base of the tree.  Let the vine die on the tree before trying to remove it off the trunk.
  2. Pull the vine away from the base of the tree by about 12” in order to expose the trunk and root flare.  Let the tree trunk be free of any plant growth at all times.
 
HAPPY GARDENING
Posted: 11/29/2016 by Doug Hensel | with 1 comment(s)
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