Wintercreeper: This species usually only produces seeds once it grows up something about 5 feet. Usually this is a tree, but it can also be a fence or other structure. The first thing you should do--even if you don't manage anything else--is cut any climbing vines at the base of trees and structures. This will kill the part of the vine you cut, and stop it from producing seeds.
English Ivy: This species usually only produces seeds once it is fully mature. Prioritize the largest vines the first year. Often times vines growing up trees will be larger than the ones growing across your garden or lawn. If you can't fully remove large vines, consider cutting them at the base to stop them from producing seeds this year.
If you haven’t removed the vines already, there are a few methods for removal.
Groundcover: When the vine is growing across the ground and is still small, mechanical treatment is a viable option. To do this, you would systematically remove all vines and root pieces from the area. Any root pieces left behind may resprout vines. This can be a somewhat tedious task--but rewarding!
Tree Climbing: If the vines are climbing and taking over a tree, you may not be able to remove all, or any, of the vine. Removal of vines in trees may damage the bark and hurt the tree. The best course of action is to cut the vine at the base and wait. Make sure the two cut parts of the vine are not in contact. You may try cutting a 1 inch section out of the vine to make sure the cut ends can't reach each other. This article has some great photos of what that might look like.
If the vines on your property area taking up a large area, or starts resprouting after you cut it on a tree, it may need to be treated with herbicide. Not only will you be saving yourself some hard work, but you'll be protecting your soil. When you remove large sections of vines, you can cause a lot of soil disturbance. Not only can this cause erosion and soil quality issues, but it also can stimulate seed growth of any seeds in the seedbank--including invasives. Specific herbicides should be used for these vines as the leaves have a waxy outer coating. This information, as well as when to use herbicide can be found on the SICIM Calendar of Control.
Diversity of plants is key when you want to have healthier soil, provide habitat and food for native wildlife and pollinators, and have a more colorful natural area. You can buy a kit with a variety of different plants for sun, shade, and more at our spring Native Plant Sale going on right now.
Other options are included below. For information on where to purchase these plants, check our webpage Where to Buy Native Plants
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