Saturday, February 14, 2009

Tarzan should be so lucky

We have owned our land in Deerfield for three years now. In that time I have chopped literally thousands of vines from our trees. Some are honeysuckle vines as big around as a full roll of paper towels, but most are wild grape vines, also known as possum grape. The photo shows a vine climbing to the top of a tree.

If a vine is left alone it will suck all the nutrients from the tree and eventually kill it. I don't know why our woods attract these parasitic vines. I walk through other woods in the area and I rarely see a grape vine.

Some of the vines are as big as a man's thigh and are best removed with a chain saw. After a vine is severed it will ooze sap for up to six months.

The only way to remove the vine completely from the tree after it's cut is to hook a logging chain on the tractor and pull it down. Often the top of the tree comes with it, and, in a few cases, the entire tree.

I enjoyed swinging on grape vines as a kid. Now, I enjoy swinging an ax at them.

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