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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.

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

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Sunday - July 21, 2013

From: Laconia, NH
Region: Northeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Problem Plants, Vines
Title: Eliminating evasive Celastrus orbiculatus (Oriental bittersweet)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have Oriental Bittersweet growing pervasively in my shrub garden, strangling my shrubs and growing into my beautiful Victorian porch. I can't keep up with it! What can I do?

ANSWER:

Yes, Celastrus orbiculatus (Oriental bittersweet) is a seriously invasive vine.  The Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group has placed it on their Least Wanted list with several methods for managing it—manual, mechanical and chemical.   Please read about the control methods they recommend on their webpage.  The National Park Service also has recommended methods for controlling this and other invasive vines.   I imagine you will need to use all of the methods to completely get rid of the pest!

When using herbicides, please read thoroughly the label on the chemical and carefully follow the instructions to protect yourself and the environment.

 

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