Wood Fence and Vine Planting

dbruhnNovember 5, 2007

I've seen a number of posts about the downside of planting Boston Ivy against a wood fence due to wood rot. We have a 50ft fence with a northern exposure (zone 5) that we'd like to grown vines on and I'm wondering how much life the fence will lose by us growning Boston Ivy up it? If we lose a year or so I'm not concerned but if the fence falls down in three years then it's an issue. Do I have other options that wouldn't hurt the wood? Also, the nursery told us it's not too late to plant vines now and in fact it's better to plant now so the roots can take hold during the winter. Everything is 50% off so it will save us money. Is this correct?



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We've had a wood fence around our city lot for 20 years. I've had Virginia Creeper, honeysuckle, clematis and trumpet vine growing on it. It's only been in the past 3-4 years that we have had to replace any of the wood. We had it positioned about 6" above the soil line. I guess if it was constantly sitting in water it would rot. Marg

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 6:26PM
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clairabelle(z4 Quebec)

Thladanthia dubia is a rare but very interesting free climber. Prefers cooler temps and even tolerates shade. Unscented yellow bell flowers throughout the summer and well into fall. It takes awhile to wake up (June), but fast grower. I'm zone 4 and have no problem. I just cut back vines in November and voila!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 9:41AM
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clairabelle(z4 Quebec)

Apios Americana (ground-nut, I think, is the common name)
Fast perennial pest-free climber, covers in no time. Interesting scented flowers in August-September.
Edible tubers (so they say)
Long, glossy green bay-leaf vegetation.
I have some in several areas of my property and tolerates sun as well as shade. Ever so slightly invasive as tubers have runners, but easy to control.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 2:42PM
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Clairabelle! Where can we buy the"Thladanthia dubia" in Quebec (north of Montreal) ?? I tried in Botanix and at the moment I don't see any of those advertised. I don't blame them, with the snow we have.....Would appreciate your response. I need it for a fence,outside, next to the road to cover the damaged bushes from the plow !!!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 4:42PM
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All wood fences are not equal. White cedar will last 10 plus years regardless of what is growing on it.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2008 at 7:13PM
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clairabelle(z4 Quebec)

Swisscanada, sorry it took so long in getting back to you. I got my Thladanthia vine in an plant exchange from someone who got it from another exchange... with an American. You might want to try American catalogues, or write to our friend Larry Hodgson at lhodgson@lesoleil.com here in Québec.
Bonne chance!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 10:11AM
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Boston Ivy and Virginia Creeper aren't recommended along any wooden structure because at the end of their tendrils, they have little disks, or holdfasts. These excrete a "glue" that slowly degrades the wood. Perhaps think about a vine that only utilizes tendrils to climb (Honeysuckle, clematis, etc).

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 1:16PM
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This may be a late reply, but if you planted Boston Ivy, you may have already found it didn't do so well in Zone 5. I have found that any part of the vine that is not covered by snow will die off.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 4:20PM
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