What is this monster vine?

MsKitty31(4)September 25, 2012

Does anyone know what this vine is? I have cut it out of three trees already and I do not want it doing the same thing to other trees as it has to the tree in the first picture - honestly the tree may have been dead prior to the vine consuming it - not sure. The diameter of the vine is pretty large - see the third picture.

I apologize for putting the pics on different posts - I can't seem to get the link from photobucket to work properly.

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Closeup of leaves.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 6:00PM
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Vines so big Tarzan could swing from them!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 6:01PM
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bogturtle(SE NJ 7a)

The leaves look a little like bittersweet, which I have seen overwhelming the trees along I-95 a few miles north of Philadelphia. I once had one, over 20 years ago, but had to remove it, as we put an additional room on the house. Still pulling up vines from the seeds, although the migrating robins may be bring seed in. Would never, purposely, plant it again.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 7:18PM
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I'm not sure but it seems like the bigger vines...the ones that look woody - are not quite dead but on their way. I couldn't believe how easy they were to saw in half. It's almost like they get so big and then die off but there are lots of smaller green vines to replace them and do the same. I'm not sure if this is what is really happening.

I don't plan on taking down the huge vine tree because it blocks the neighbors and his 30-some (ugh!) chickens but I would like to make sure it doesn't wander into the neighboring trees again. As I haven't even really watched the progess of this vine I am not sure how fast it grows or consumes so I may have my hands full ever year cutting it back.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 10:12PM
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bogturtle(SE NJ 7a)

I find the ones less than ten feet long and pencil thick easy to pull. The roots are reddish. Have killed both wrist thick poison ivy and Trumpet vine with weed killer. I let months go by before I tore down the poison ivy vines I had sprayed, but cut the trumpet vine, drilled holes in the stub and filled them with weed killer solution. Cutting them, but leaving them alive, only encourages the roots to send up shoots, everywhere. Bittersweet grows like crazy, and can send up shoots far from the original.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 8:16PM
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I forgot to mention that the roots are a reddish/orange. Does bittersweet have some sort of blossom or berry? I haven't seen anything like fruit on this one but wouldn't there have to be at some point?

I have decided haha that the vine tree is going bye bye. Our goal is to plant an evergreen within that area to block the view of the neighbors 365 days a year. My only concern is the fight this vine has - meaning how much of a problem it will be trying to come back after I cut it all down. I have pulled many roots from the ground but I am no stranger to this and know there are probably 10x as many left in the ground that I didn't get. The tree won't go in until maybe next Spring (not sure if that is the best time to plant evergreens) or possibly next fall.

Did you just spray the crap out of the vines? I have thought of weed killer BUT neighbors chickens are close in proximity.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 10:57AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

A huge mature vine like this is going to put up a heckuva fight, no doubt. Bittersweet is a notoriously hard-to-kill entity.

I don't own any kind of chemicals, but short of bulldozing this whole area and removing the top layer of soil (the good part - a very undesirable idea,) it would be about a full-time job trying to get rid of something like that with only manual efforts, and if faced with the same situation, I would buy something. But it's a common fallacy that a ton of 'cide will be more deadly than applying according to label directions. Since you're willing and able to perform a lot of manual mutilation and removal (which will seriously impede this plants' ability to continue growing,) you should be able to keep the amount of 'cide used to a tiny amount, applied directly and carefully to cut ends, using a product made for this purpose. Something like roundup that affects by being "ingested by leaves" is not what you need for that because you would have to spray a huge amount of product just to apply it according to label directions. Regardless of what's in your neighbor's yard, you probably don't want to dump a bunch of toxins on your own property.

When the leaves are all gone later, you can keep working on it if you are so inclined, especially since you intend to remove it all, alive or dead, anyway. The less live vine mass there is, the less stored energy reserves there are to grow back. Unfortunately, you won't know until spring how much is still alive and growing back again. It looks like this vine has spread and may have roots all throughout the area, as mentioned above, and likely seeds have produced individual sprouts as well, which would mean that it's actually a patch of autonomous plants, which will each have to be killed.

Concentrate on getting the spot cleared for your tree, and keep attacking the other still-alive parts of the vine in the same way, cutting and pulling what you can, 'cide-ing stumps. Can you pull some of it out with a truck?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 10:46AM
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It definitely has roots throughout a lot of the area - I have found that out. The plan is to seed a majority of the area in the Spring and get to mowing it. The slope will probably have to be weed whacked. I am hoping that by mowing it will keep it knocked down when it does start to come back and eventually it will die due to no photosynthesis going on. However, it looks like it may extend somewhat to the neighbors side as well so I am just hoping my side dies off even if his is still going. I won't know how much is on his side until we get the vine tree down. The burning ban is off the 11th and we are planning on burning the piles in the pic and starting on the vine tree..cutting piece by piece and throwing it on the pile to burn.

This is what the area looks like now. It was a jungle before.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 7:01PM
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Wow! You did an amazing job on that mess! How many bottles of Advil did you go through?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 11:20AM
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Haha actually this was easier on my back then sanding the paint off the bedroom door..had a backache for two days with that!

As soon as we get the piles burned and the vine tree down and burned...hopefully next week...I will post better before and after pics...with the real camera and not the phone. I am actually pretty amazed myself at how much better it looks.

I think the plan for the vine tree is to leave a couple inches of the vine sticking out of the ground and drill holes in the vine and dump the herbicide in them to get down in the roots and kill it. Other areas I have pulled roots and I know they are everywhere in that dirt. Hoping the mowing next year eventually kills it. I have been reading a lot of articles on the Oriental Bittersweet and I am now convinced that is def what this is - thanks for the ID help bogturtle.

Here is a link that might be useful: Oriental Bittersweet Information

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 1:15PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Wow, you're serious. Keep up the good work!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 5:48PM
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