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Oriental Bittersweet is an invasive species plant that will wreak havoc on your landscape.  If left to its own devices, this aggressive rope-like vine will quickly spread and takeover entire sections of your property, climbing and strangling your trees and smothering everything in its path. 

Sometimes you can notice this vine sticking out of the sides and tops of your evergreen trees, as it winds its way upward toward the sun.  Vines can grow to an unruly 60 feet long and once tangled in your trees is very hard to remove. 

This plant bears orange berries in the fall which some people use in decorations.  DON’T DO IT!

Birds also like the berries, and after they eat them will excrete the seeds, spreading the invasive plant everywhere they travel. 

The best way to control these vines is to hand pull them out by the telltale orange roots in the springtime when the soil is moist.  When this is not feasible, try this:  cut the vines back to about 1 foot above ground and carefully apply an appropriate herbicide to the raw cut section.  Check back in a couple weeks, and if the vine begins to re-sprout, spray the new leaves.  Be very careful not to spray surrounding foliage of any trees or plants you want to keep.  I have used tarps to protect other plants successfully.

You can also be diligent about mowing or cutting these vines down over and over until they have been depleted of their nutrients and may eventually die.  Use a weed wacker to get to areas underneath your evergreens.

One note of caution:  When removing this vine (or any brush or tree removal) in the spring, be cognizant that birds and wildlife may have used this heavy brush to hide their nests.  Leave these areas alone until late summer when the nests have been vacated.

This plant has taken over the New Hampshire landscape.  Just take a drive and look around. You will start to notice this vine everywhere, winding its way up telephone poles and taking our native trees prisoner. 

Please do your part as a New Hampshire homeowner and help stop the spread of this invasive plant!

Visit the UNH Extension HERE to see their recommendations on best practices for controlling this terrible invasive vine.