En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - April 08, 2010

From: Elkview, WV
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Vines
Title: Will trumpet vine strangle tulip poplar in Elkview WV?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a trumpet vine that I planted to grow up a tulip poplar. I did not find info that it may damage the tree prior to doing this but have recently been told that it will "strangle" the tree. Is this true?

ANSWER:

The best thing we can suggest is that you read our webpage on Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper), which, while it refers to the plant as aggressive and being capable of damaging wood, stone and brick, does not actually say it is a tree killer. Unfortunately, some other websites are not so forgiving.

From Dave's Garden Forum, note the many negative comments.

Floridata doesn't like to say bad things about any plants, but admits this one can be an invasive pain. 

From a website called old fashioned living Growing and Controlling Trumpet Vines: "Do not use a tree as a pole for the trumpet vine to climb. Eventually it will strangle the tree. Use an actual pole or fence instead and again, prune in spring or fall, or even during mild winters."

So, next let's talk about your Liriodendron tulipifera (tuliptree). Follow the link to our website on that tree, and then decide, which is it going to be?  The trumpet vine does have gorgeous flowers and attracts hummingbirds, but we're from Texas - trees are irreplaceable. You might permit the vine to grow somewhere else, but we would definitely recommend getting it off that tree while you still can. And you will have to watch closely to keep seedlings from getting started back up the tree, as well as other plants in your garden. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Campsis radicans

Campsis radicans

Liriodendron tulipifera

Liriodendron tulipifera

 

 

More Vines Questions

Allergic reaction from vine in St. George Island, FL
July 24, 2010 - In the panhandle of Florida, we have a vine that looks like a blackberry vine. Seems to be poisonous. It has thorns that are dark purple and leaves a blistery, itchy rash. The leaves are green and ruf...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification request for a vine
September 19, 2007 - I would like to identify a wild vine that I have just discovered in our bush. It has leaves similar in shape to a maple leaf,approx.4"wide, has white flower spikes, and some kind of a fruit or pod t...
view the full question and answer

Few blooms on native Bignonia capriolata (cross-vine)
March 25, 2008 - I have an 8-year-old crossvine that has grown and bloomed beautifully until this year. During the winter it lost all of its lower leaves. What leaves were left had brownish-red splotches on them. It h...
view the full question and answer

Shrub or Vine for NH Slope
May 11, 2013 - I'm looking for a native plant/shrub/vine that can be used to control erosion on a relatively steep slope in New Hampshire. Do you know of any?
view the full question and answer

Identification of vine in New York
May 15, 2012 - I have a flowering vine that grows against my home and I'm not sure what it is, but it's beautiful with a delicate scent. The flowers look like clusters of mini purple pea pods hanging downward befo...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center