Honeysuckle vines climbing into American Holly.
It’s certainly not the growing season here in the piedmont of Virginia, but it’s still a good time to control certain invasive plants. In this dormant season, Japanese Honeysuckle retains many green leaves, making it stand out in the otherwise mostly brown woods. The absence of foliage also makes the stems of honeysuckle much easier to identify. In one notable situation, however, honeysuckle can still camouflage itself – entwined in our American Holly trees. In many cases, our native trees are able to cope with the encircling vines of honeysuckle, albeit with some disfigurement. But saplings can be overcome by the weight of the vines, or the stems can be so strangled that they break. To achieve some measure of control, we locate honeysuckle vines that are climbing on woody plants, actually or potentially damaging them, competing for sunlight and shading ground-cover native plants. These climbing vines are pulled up, if possible, and cut off, leaving the upper part of the vine to die in place. Besides eliminating the competition of these climbing vines, this treatment prevents these vines from flowering and producing seeds.
Thoughts on the park, its residents and how to preserve its natural beauty.