P.E.I. wooded areas being hit by tree-killing vine
Invasive species called oriental bittersweet very hard to destroy
There's an invasive vine snaking its way through some of P.E.I.'s wooded areas, called oriental bittersweet.
The vine snakes up through the trees, and wraps itself around the branches, eventually squeezing the life out of the tree.
So far, there are just a few known locations on the Island, according to the PEI Invasive Species Council.
One is in Georgetown, where it's taken over about an acre, and there's also a small patch on the experimental farm property in Charlottetown.
"If you have a large population, it's really difficult. You can cut it off and then you're going to have to manage those sprouts on an ongoing basis, like could be for years."
Hoar said gardeners may have brought oriental bittersweet to P.E.I.
"A maple that was about 30 feet high, and it literally spun around the tree and the way that it kills them is that it does two things," she described. "It blocks the light with all the leaves and then it literally strangles the juices — it looked like a cobra — it wrapped around the trunk. It was just terrifying to look at."
An extensive removal of the vine was carried out last year at the experimental farm, with more than a tonne being sent to the local incinerator, according to Agriculture Canada, and a crew has just started work on new growth there.
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