Wild Grapevine beginning to run rampant on Trail


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The Saugeen Rail Trail is experiencing difficulty preventing Wild Grapevine from over-running many of the trees along the corridor.

Photos show the identifiable leaves, and also the vines that have been cut so that a section is missing enabling identification.

Although Wild Grapevine is a native species and some may think it looks good, it kills trees in a number of ways. Their tendrils wrap tightly around anything it can reach and the vine grows so quickly and densely that in a matter of just a couple years it can envelop trees, suffocating them from light and killing them.  They can break off branches, warp the trunks, snap off the treetops and uproot entire trees.

The roots and stems can also get as big as huge tree roots and, if you're lucky enough to cut them in time to save trees, the roots will re-sprout but it is possible, with diligence, to control them but the woody roots are tough to destroy and the plants are highly resistant to disease.  They also get onto phone lines or higher nearby branches and, at that height are almost impossible to stop.

"While pulling the vines out of the trees is sometimes possible, it is much easier if the foliage has been allowed to die first," says Ross Reid of Trail Maintenance in Saugeen Shores.  "If vines are pulled down, ensure that the refuse is moved to one side of the trail for the safe passage of others."

"We would like to encourage walkers and adjacent homeowners to cut the vines whenever possible," adds Reid.

Everyone, who can, should take immediate action against this vine that can wreak havoc on trees of all kinds.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2012