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Anyone know what this is?

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Anyone know what this is?

Post  Megan on 5/13/2010, 10:39 pm

Do we need a forum topic just for "what's this?" :-)

This thing appeared a couple years ago and has slowly gotten bigger. Dies back to twigs or to the ground in winter.

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Re: Anyone know what this is?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/13/2010, 10:52 pm

Looks like Virginia creeper to me, which is a deciduous vine. Doesn't die back to the ground around here, but will green up in mid-Spring.

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Re: Anyone know what this is?

Post  herbarium on 5/13/2010, 10:56 pm

Yes, Virginia Creeper or Boston Ivy. It spreads well so you may want to consider whether you want to keep it there.

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Re: Anyone know what this is?

Post  Megan on 5/13/2010, 10:58 pm

I think the stem is on my neighbor's side, but I could probably get rid of it without their complaint. Do I need to do anything more than grab hold and yank real hard?? (I.e., does it have very deep roots, etc?)

Thank you both for the information! Smile
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Re: Anyone know what this is?

Post  herbarium on 5/13/2010, 11:20 pm

If the roots are on the neighbors side you should mention it to them in case they want it and so it can be completely removed. They may want to move it somewhere else. It does have its place but it will grow very large. The house I moved into had some that grew over lilacs and smothered them.
It appears to be small enough that it could be dug out. Pulling on it isn't likely to remove it.

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Re: Anyone know what this is?

Post  Megan on 5/13/2010, 11:24 pm

Thank you, buena!
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Virginia creeper

Post  ander217 on 5/14/2010, 7:35 am

Virginia creeper is hard to get rid of once it gets a stronghold.

We have some growing on our black walnut tree that we've been fighting for years. It was well established on the tree when we included it in our yard. We made no headway trying to cut it back. We gave in to desperation and even sprayed it with the Roundup formulated for vines. The leaves died and we pulled the vines down. We thought we'd won, then weeks later it came right back up. This spring it looks as though it exploded all around our tree, which is also a bee tree. The vines are getting so thick I don't know how the bees are even getting into the tree.

My advice is talk to your neighbors and nip this thing now before it gets worse.
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Re: Anyone know what this is?

Post  vfclead on 5/14/2010, 2:38 pm

For anyone looking to fully kill any vine based weeds growing in your yards, here are some steps my friend's hubby (a professional gardener for a local mansion/public garden). We have problems with honeysuckle vine taking over and killing our hedge, so we'll be using these steps this summer to get rid of the creeping crud!


  1. The first week of July, cut the vine as close to the root as you can (about 1 inch above ground level is good)
  2. Pull out the vine above the cut and trash (do NOT compost)
  3. "Paint" concentrated Round Up on the remaining end.
Doing this the first week of July (for those of us in the US/Canada) is key as plants are in reverse osmosis phase at that time! Usually during July/August, the plant is taking in vitamins and storing it in the root system to survive the winter when the plant is dormant. By coating the stem with the concentrated plant/weed killer at the start of the process, the plant will be sucking in chemicals instead of vitamins and it will die during the dormant months.

Make sure when you buy Round Up that the bottle is the concentrated type and not the standard product. The standard has a high volume of water added to the mix and is highly diluted so it doesn't kill your grass when applied. You'll want to wear gloves when applying the concentrated stuff -- that's nasty stuff.

Good luck!
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Re: Anyone know what this is?

Post  Squat_Johnson on 5/28/2010, 12:41 pm

I always thought that was poison oak... After googling the images, it seems I am wrong again.
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Re: Anyone know what this is?

Post  johnfromfl on 5/28/2010, 1:07 pm

I agree that it looks like Virginia Creeper.

This post reminds of the time me and three other high school classmates went to a 9 hole golf course. Near the 9th green is a stone wall that has a few weeds on the outside of the golf course property. Many people have hit their golf ball over the wall including one of my classmates. We walked through the weeds and found the ball.

The next few days at school we missed one of the foursome. When he finally came in to school, I said we missed him. He said to me, "You know those weeds on the other side of the wall? They are poison Sumac." I think he missed about 4 days of school because of those weeds.

The rest of us are or were not allergic to poison sumac.

Anybody ever watch Bob Vila the time he thought a vine on a tree was Virginia Creeper and it was poison ivy? That was a funny episode.
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Re: Anyone know what this is?

Post  LaFee on 5/28/2010, 2:06 pm

Yes, it's Virginia creeper. Stuff drives me crazy.

I have truckloads of the stuff and it's nearly as bad as kudzu. It doesn't affect me, but I've read frequently on the web that it can cause a poison ivy-like rash if you're sensitive to it.

I'll be looking for Roundup concentrate my next trip past a garden centre (oh goody, another excuse!)

Pull that sucker ASAP...you don't want it getting a toehold anywhere.

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Re: Anyone know what this is?

Post  Ha-v-v on 5/28/2010, 4:36 pm

I'll toss a wrench in the mix, It looks like the poison ivy we have every where here. Of course Ive not seen Virginia creeper either. If it is poison ivy, I just made up a vinegar salt soap spray to kill it. My in laws bought store bought poison and I freaked out about the ground water. This will kill anything it comes in contact as well. I still have to be careful not to let the wind carry it. I sprayed some other weeds I want removed in the garden and by the time I was done watering the garden this morning the weeds I had sprayed they were all curled up.
Poison ivy should never be burned, I usually have to deal with it on a regular basis. My husband and two of my sons get it worse than anyone (still not as bad as poison oak ugh) I doesnt effect me either it seems. If that were my fence, I would use gloves and long sleeves and cut my side of the fence Smile
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Re: Anyone know what this is?

Post  Megan on 5/28/2010, 4:41 pm

I have yet to have a chance to talk to the neighbors about it, but they are pretty reasonable. I think I have brushed against it a few times with no bad results, but I have to admit I have gone out of my way not to touch it.
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Re: Anyone know what this is?

Post  Ha-v-v on 5/28/2010, 4:51 pm

Well I bet the neighbor might even know what it is and we can all be relieved it isnt poison ivy Smile
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Re: Anyone know what this is?

Post  Megan on 5/28/2010, 5:08 pm

I doubt they would know... or care. But just to dot the i's and cross the t's, I will check with them first.
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Re: Anyone know what this is?

Post  Jola on 5/28/2010, 10:59 pm

People! THIS IS VIRGINIA CREEPER, NOT POISON IVY!!! No doubt about it.
Poison ivy has three leaflets and virginia creeper has five leaflets. Plant on the picture has visibly five leaflets. If you do not believe me check this website:
http://www.walterreeves.com/landscaping/article.phtml?cat=10&id=504

It took me three years to get rid of poison ivy in my garden. I have virginia creeper too and they are very different. If in doubt always remember: "Leaflets three, let it be!", which means do not touch a vine with three leaflets since it could be poison ivy.
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Re: Anyone know what this is?

Post  LaFee on 5/29/2010, 2:57 am

Ha-v-v, can you share your salt and vinegar spray? I've got about truckloads of this stuff to get rid of, and a cheap and responsible way to do it would be excellent.

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Re: Anyone know what this is?

Post  camprn on 5/29/2010, 7:00 am

Yup, it's what i've always known as Virginia creeper, bleck!
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Re: Anyone know what this is?

Post  Ha-v-v on 5/29/2010, 7:14 am

Ha-v-v, can you share your salt and vinegar spray? I've got about
truckloads of this stuff to get rid of, and a cheap and responsible way
to do it would be excellent.


Of course I will share, its cheap too !! I keep vinegar for everything.

Poison Ivy Spray

I hope this helps, it still kills anything it comes in contact with so we still have to be careful.

Ha-v-v
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Re: Anyone know what this is?

Post  camprn on 5/29/2010, 7:21 am

@Ha-v-v wrote:
Ha-v-v, can you share your salt and vinegar spray? I've got about
truckloads of this stuff to get rid of, and a cheap and responsible way
to do it would be excellent.


Of course I will share, its cheap too !! I keep vinegar for everything.

Poison Ivy Spray

I hope this helps, it still kills anything it comes in contact with so we still have to be careful.

Ha-v-v
Hav your link keeps taking me back to the Forum main page... my computer has been funky lately so maybe it's just me...
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Re: Anyone know what this is?

Post  Megan on 5/29/2010, 7:42 am

Link does not work for me, either. Sad
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Re: Anyone know what this is?

Post  Ha-v-v on 5/29/2010, 8:03 am

Ok girls Im sorry !! Here is the right link Smile I had copied and pasted a forum page I guess before that. And just now I drove down the road a bit, looking for hot air balloons. Ok and its not this weekend..but next weekend. I took two of my sons with me at 6:30 am Im doing well this morning.
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/vinegar-for-poison-ivy.html#

Ha-v-v
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Virginia creeper vs. Poison ivy

Post  Jola on 5/29/2010, 1:12 pm

LaFee, I am curious: you live in France, right? How have you gotten Virginia creeper there? Was it introduced as an ornamental plant? (it is indigenous to eastern North America).

If it is growing on your trees, the most "organic" method is to cut vine's trunk near ground level and then dig it out. It is not easy but with perseverance you can do it. The next best method in my opinion is that one described earlier using concentrated glyphosate (e.g., the Roundup brand). I think that although it is chemical method, it might be safer then using that salt poison ivy spray. You have to use spray on the larger area by definition, and you might accidentally spray other plants not to mention contaminate sounding ground, while Roundup you apply only to cut part of the Virginia creeper trunk.
Even spray Roundup stays in and kills only plant to which it is applied (you must be careful, and do not apply during wind!).

You cannot have poison ivy in Europe because it is indigenous to North America, and I don't think anyone would bring it to Europe to grow it as an ornamental.

There are many articles on the internet which explain differences between Virginia creeper and Poison ivy. Here is my short summary for you: when it comes to Virginia creeper toxicity the sap flowing through Virginia creeper vines does contain oxalate crystals, which can be an irritant for a small percentage of people. If you're unsure as to whether you're one of those people, don't touch Virginia creeper, since the result of contact could be a nasty skin rash. Nor should you eat Virginia creeper berries, of course.

What makes poison ivy (and poison oak and poison sumac, too) so poisonous is urushiol, which is the sap that runs through all parts of the plant. Grazing against poison ivy with any exposed part of your body is all that it takes to release this poison. Contact with poison ivy does not even have to be direct for you to contract the rash. For instance, if your dog runs through some poison ivy, then you stroke your dog's fur with your hand, you could come into contact with the sap and develop a rash. Likewise, if someone else had been working in a poison ivy-infested area with gloves, then you came along and touched those contaminated gloves, you could get the rash.

So if the poison is spread that easily, poison ivy must be contagious, right? Wrong. It's only the urushiol that puts you at risk. Scratching your bumps doesn't cause the poison ivy to spread to other areas of your body. Nor will you contract the rash just by touching somebody else's rash bumps. Once the bumps are present, the damage that the urushiol can inflict has already been inflicted.

Coming from Europe, where we do not have anything similar to Poison ivy I was skeptical about how poisonous Poison ivy can be. When we moved to our house about 10 years ago I had a lot of Poison ivy in the garden and was careless with it. I ended up with such a terrible rush, red and swollen arm, that it took me several weeks and three rounds of oral steroids to get better. Now I believe I'm an expert in recognizing poison ivy and handling it.
I do not have any problem with virginia creeper though, which I like, and want to believe have under control in my garden.
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Re: Anyone know what this is?

Post  johnfromfl on 5/29/2010, 1:43 pm

<Jola said: Contact with poison ivy does not even have to be direct for you to
contract the rash.<


The same is for sumac as per my comment in my earlier post about a classmate of mine. you don't have to have direct contact with poison sumac. it can get on your clothes and either it soaks in or be transmitted by brushing against your skin.
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Re: Anyone know what this is?

Post  LaFee on 5/29/2010, 8:10 pm

Jola, I never had any doubt that it was Virginia creeper...I knew it wasn't poison ivy. I'm American, so I've seen my share of the stuff (as well as poison oak and poison sumac.)

I don't know how VC got here...but it's all across Europe (I've seen it in Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland, and the UK...so I think it's safe to say that it's pervasive!), and everybody hates it (except when it turns scarlet in the autumn, when it really is pretty...but not pretty enough!)

If it were only on the trees, it would be one thing...but it's on the walls between us and the neighbors (all of them)...on the trees...trying to choke my ancient lilacs (don't know how old they are, but I pulled a dead stump out of one of them that's bigger than my leg)...burying the hedges between us and the other neighbors...I don't have just a few annoying vines...I have a full-on infestation.

I'm not sensitive to it; don't have a rash....and have never had poison ivy, either...

But poison ivy is not something to play with...it can land you in the emergency room or even in hospital if you've contacted enough of it. And never, ever burn it...breathing the smoke can give you the rash in your lungs...and that definitely will put you in the hospital.

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