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Wild grape

By: Garden Gate staff
Long, twining vines wind their way into shrubs and trees. As the stems mature, the bark peels into narrow strips.

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Wild grape Vitis spp.

IDENTIFICATION — Long, twining vines wind their way into shrubs and trees. As the stems mature, the bark peels into narrow strips. Older vines produce clusters of small dark purple fruit in late summer.

FAVORITE CONDITIONS — Wild grape prefers sun to part shade in any type of soil, either moist or dry. It has an unlimited spread because the vines root wherever they touch the soil. The spread is helped by birds, which eat the messy fruit. Large thickets of vines can shade out or even kill mature shrubs and trees.

CONTROL —?When the plant is a seedling, pull or dig it out of the ground. If it’s too large for this, spray the plant with a nonselective herbicide, such as Roundup® Poison Ivy & Tough Brush Killer Plus in spring or late summer. Or cut down the tree and dribble or brush on a systemic stump killer around the edges where the sap is flowing. It’s absorbed into the wood and kills the roots. Be careful — it can kill any plant it gets on.

Published: Aug. 17, 2010
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