Wild Grape (alias; Vitis Spp)
Wild Grape is the most common invasive you will find in the Hudson Valley. Although it is technically not an invasive since it is native to this area, it is still a notorious killer of trees. Drive along almost any roadway in the Hudson Valley and you will see tangled up vines drooping over the trees and bushes, weighing them down, until they finally break. You will never see grape vines in the middle of the forest.
You will find them along highways, vacant lots and along the edge of yards hanging out with their other invasive buddies like Bittersweet and Poison Ivy. Since Grape is native, birds enjoy the seeds and carry them around with them before dropping them. Grape seedlings need sunlight however, in order to survive and it finds that light in cleared woods and lots.
Wild Grape vines don’t hug a tree like Poison Ivy does. They hang away from the trunk and pull down the branches of the tree as it reaches skyward. Up at the top of the tree it uses its long, spiral tendrils to hang onto leaves and branches. This is where Grape flourishes, growing much faster than the tree itself, stealing the sunlight and weighing down the branches.
Grape reproduces by producing berries in the late summer, early fall. Once buried in the soil, a grape seed can lay dormant for many years, waiting for the required conditions in order to sprout. Grape can also sprout from the roots or the cut vine stumps. These characteristics allow Grape to become established after a heavy timber harvest or lot clearing for a new house.
Grape vines also steal water that the tree could be using. As it plunders the soil of vital nutrients it is also pulling the tree down to earth and will snap off the top, to kill it once and for all.
In addition to producing hundreds of “grapes” which drop to the earth to multiply, it will develop a deep tap root wherever the vine touches the ground. Whenever you see a huge infestation of vines, look closer and you’ll most likely see snapped off trees and bent over shrubs underneath an umbrella of Grape Vines.
Eradication: Grape vines are easy to eradicate, and you can usually do this yourself. Every spring or winter, go around with a hand saw and loppers and cut off every vine you see. If you do this in the late spring, watch how much water comes pouring out. This is water that the tree could be using.
Each year, cut off the new sprouts growing from the stump and it should die within three years. Whatever is left up in the tree will eventually fall off.
If you have an area of your yard or woodland and it’s way out of control, you may need to call us in.
We will clear out that mess out in no time. Leave the trees, and everything else has got to go.
We will pull down the vines if it is possible to do so without damaging the branches even more.
Clearing out all the invasive plants, is the first step in the restoration and correction of what’s remaining.