IT Overwhelmed the Tree

February 1, 2018

 One of the worst horticultural decisions a property owner can make is to plant wintercreeper (Euonymous fortunei) or to allow it to establish--this includes any of the cultivars.  Wintercreeper is a non-native, woody, evergreen vine--easy to grow and spreads readily.  It is for the last reason you should be concerned, for it is extremely difficult to eradicate.  Moreover, as in the accompanying photo, it is capable of climbing anything, and to great heights.  On buildings it can damage siding and gutters, it ruins fences, and permitted grow on trees it can lead to the death of the host as well as making it more likely for branches to break.  Another reason to prohibit it from climbing is because it is then that it reproduces (sexually)--making the attractive cluster of fruits which birds help distribute.  This is one of our most aggressive and ill-advised plants introductions.  It is capable of completely carpeting the ground in both sunny and shady locations.  It outcompetes the native vegetation.  It will ruin your woodlands and established beds.  Moreover, it is a nightmare to eradicate--requiring manually extraction.  In heavily infested areas, I am able to remove about 100 sq ft a day, and it requires followup since it is impossible to get get all the pieces the first pass.  With persistence oversight you can keep it under control, but the wise gardener/property owner will avoid this foreign invader.

 

 

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