Vine Management

Vines are important in that they provide food and habitat for wildlife and may provide privacy for us. However, some have become serious problems for our trees:

1) In many parts of our island, vines are overwhelming our canopy trees. When we cut roads or clear areas for buildings, we create the perfect environment for vines to grow. When these vines become so heavy that they weigh down or deform the tree or when they block out the sunlight, they are killing the tree. Some vines may girdle trees.

2) When invasive vines become established in a new area, they often out-compete our native plants and alter the environment.

This problem has increased dramatically in recent years. As a result, we all (individuals, neighborhoods/HOAs, the City & County) need to actively manage the vines in our trees.

Typical problem vines on Amelia Island

Native Vines

Virgina Creeper
Virgina Creeper
Carolina Jessamine
Carolina Jessamine
Wild Muscadine Grape
Wild Muscadine Grape
Smilax (or Greenbreir)
Smilax (or Greenbreir)

Invasive Vines

Air Potato
Air Potato
Japanese Honeysuckle
Japanese Honeysuckle
Skunk Vine
Skunk Vine
Japanese Climbing Fern
Japanese Climbing Fern
Cat’s Claw
Cat’s Claw

What to Do

Native
1) Cut the vines as close to the roots as possible before they produce fruit/seed.
2) Where possible, pull out the vine runners and roots, if this can be done without damaging the tree.
3) Pull out any easy-to-reach parts of the vine. Let the parts of the vine above reach die and disintegrate.
4) Monitor the vine situation around your trees annually and repeat as needed.

Invasive
According to state law, working with invasives requires a permit.

1) Utilize the process above before the vines develop reproductive parts.
Because of the level of herbicide pollution in some of our Amelia Island waters,
ATC urges restraint in the use of these products. However, if the invasive vine
cannot be managed in any other way, paint the end of any remaining invasive
with a non-selective herbicide (glyphosate), which cannot be sprayed. According
to Florida law, herbicides can only be applied on your own property or with
owner permission, and the individual using the herbicide must be licensed.

2) Double bag invasive material, especially any reproductive parts, and dispose of
it in the trash.

Contacts for Rights of Way
If the vines of concern in your neighborhood are on a State right-of-way, complete the State DOT “General Use Permit” application on line. Someone from the permitting office will be assigned and will contact the applicant.

The County hopes to be able to support this activity in the new budget year.

If the vines of concern are on a City right-of-way, contact City Urban Forester Dave Holley (904 574-1215 (mobile); dholley@fbfl.city) and complete the City release form. A City representative skilled in trimming vines will provide guidance for each project.

Resources:

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