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Crow’s Nest: Vines of distinction

August 1, 2013

Not wines, vines. Although some of the vines are grapes.

This poison ivy vine recently cut at Crow’s Nest is not quite as old as I am. But I counted the rings and let’s say I think it was here for the Bicentennial of the United States. Remarkable.

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Poison ivy is a native plant, a good wildlife plant, but perhaps we have a bit much of it. I have been removing it from the areas where the kids play in the woods, from trees along the roads where it could hide tree defects we need to evaluate, and from trees where it has begun to overwhelm the tree’s canopy.

In a world with rising CO2 there will be winners and losers. Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) may thrive (Ziska et. al. 2007 in Weed Science).

With this summer’s generous rain we have also had remarkable growth of grapevine, Vitis sp. I’ve cut a bit of it from trees that are being overwhelmed by it. The vines can outcompete the trees for sunlight and the weight of their growth raises the center of gravity for the trees making them more susceptible to windthrow. We’ll leave much of it but are working on a few trees that look like they are at risk.

Posted by Daniel Barringer on August 1, 2013.

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