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Vine in established tree: name of vine and risk to tree?

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Hello,  Two main questions!

1) Does anyone know the name of the vine climbing up the tree? Looks like vinca vine at the base but does not look like vinca on the tree.


2) There is no sign of girdling but I did see 2" diameter vines on the inner part of the tree - is there a short or long term risk to the tree?


3) Should I remove the vines (if so how do I know when to do this, as I like the "vine look"?)?. 


4)  If the recommendation is to remove the vine, would severing the thick vines allow me to keep the "vine look" with the younger vines?


Thank you for your help.  Hope the pics are useful.



Nicoles Vines 1.zip

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Looks kinda like Chinese wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei)


If so, it's not a parasite so it's not much of a direct threat, although any vine, if large enough, can shade out the supporting plant's leaves, add so much weight that branches break, and compete for water or nutrients. If it is evergreen the added weight of snow and ice caught by the vine's leaves can be a serious risk for breaking the tree's branches.


Could be tough to get the vines out of the top of the tree, depending on how high they go. If you like the look, I think limiting the vine's growth by cutting out the biggest trunks is probably a good plan. I'd do it in the fall, and just cut them at the bottom. That way, the dead leaves won't be so obvious, and hopefully will broken up and/or blown off over the winter. 


One more thing - you'll probably get more responses if you imbed the images using the "Image" button instead of attaching a compressed folder, which must be downloaded, then decompressed, then opened to view. Many people avoid downloading ZIP files for fear of picking up a virus. You can find Steve's instructions here if you need some hints. 

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Thank you very much for taking the time to respond.  The vine is not an evergreen but I will still plan to sever at the base in the fall.  Good tip!  Also, thanks for the info on a better way to post pics.  I tried it and i got "stumped" half way through.  I will try again. 

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We have a native Euonymus obovatus that is not evergreen but usually doesn't climb trees, so yours is probably Euonymus fortunei which is evergreen but when exposed it may loose it's leaves and grow new ones every year. Here's some tree that are definitely stressed by the Euonymus growing up them, so thining the older vines out are a good idea if you want the look of the vine climbing the trees and not cause problems for the tree.


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What about English ivy growing on a maple tree? Will it harm the tree?

What is the best way to remove English Ivy from growing 10' up a maple tree? I have read to spray white vinegar on the vines and leaves and wait a week and do again. But won't the vinegar harm the tree?


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English ivy (Hedera helix) does not hurt the bark, take nutrients or wrap and strangle so the tree can handle it. However, if it climbs up into the canopy and bridges the gaps between branches it can be a problem because that creates more wind resistance. When such a tree is covered with ice or is very wet, all the extra weight and wind can push it over.


Or if it is a small understory tree and the ivy goes up enough to shade out that tree's own foliage, that would not be good.


Usually hereabouts in the Midwest ivy doesn't bridge the gaps on a big tree. Too cold in winter for the ivy, once it gets that high. I did take it off/have it taken off some oaks recently in zone 6 Cape Cod because it was reaching across gaps. It was quite the operation in that I could remove it from the lower regions but we had to have arborists with a bucket lift work on the higher stuff.


Best way? I don't know that there is one. Cut the vines at the bottom of the tree then peel off all you can. What you can't get hold off you may have to watch die and slowly dry up.


Vinegar kills by damaging the cell membranes. What it touches and soaks into, dies. But it is not absorbed into or move through the plant's vascular system to kill the dormant buds, the branches or roots. And it does not usually kill wood because the bark has some repellent properties. Waxy coated leaves like E. ivy also have some repell-ability. So to spray vinegar on English ivy is like pulling off the leaves. You can almost hear the vine sing "I'll be baaa-ack!" A small or young plant sprayed repeatedly - or getting its leaves pulled of repeatedly - will eventually die of starvation. But a 10' vine has a lot of starch stored so I doubt you would win that way in the long run.


So cut and remove it and keep it cut back, or use a systemic herbicide such as glyphosate (Roundup) wiped carefully on the leaves - even old trees can be harmed by Roundup, especially the newer formulations that are glyphosate PLUS other herbicides. A systemic may not kill the vine all the way to the roots but would do more than vinegar.


These photos should help you do the best job of cutting the ivy off the trunk.


We gardeners often look only at the lowest part of a  tree, like this ivy-clad oak.



One day, looking up I realized this ivy was trouble.



See how ivy is beginning to fill the spaces between trunk and branch? That extra wind resistance can add up to enough extra load to topple the tree, especially if the ivy is heavy with rain or ice.



So this ivy I/we took off. I cut it at the base and removed it to the Janet-plus a ladder level. Arborists peeled it off the upper stories.

I did not remove some of it but did cut it all. See the missing sections where I sawed twice through each big vine?



A newer ivy colony can be harder to remove.



That's because it's tedious to try to grab those young vines that nestle right into bark crevices.



Easier to grab these older vines.



But if you don't mind watching the leaves turn brown and die - it can take a year for them to then fall off - and if you don't mind if the dead tendrils remain on the trunk, you can cut the vine at the bottom. You won't use a saw like I did on that bigger vine. You'll work your fingers or a hand claw into the space right around the trunk base where the vines bridge to the trunk. Pull and cut there at the yellow lines.



Then KEEP the vine down by annual pruning. The green leaves mark where a vine has climbed back up.


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