Will Vinegar Kill Oriental Bittersweet?

The biological regulators of bittersweet remain unknown. Small infestations can be manually removed, but the entire plant, including the root systems, should be taken out. For climbing vines, first prune them at a reasonable height near the ground to destroy the upper growth and open up the tree canopy.

Can Oriental bittersweet be killed by Roundup?

Bittersweet can be effectively controlled with glyphosate (e.g., Roundup, Rodeo, Accord) both as a foliar spray and for cut surface treatments. While plants have all of their leaves out and are actively developing, it is most useful for treating cut surfaces.

Can Oriental bittersweet be burned?

The findings of this study imply that, due to the “resprouting vortex that leads to increased numbers of plants,” fire is not an effective alternative for controlling existing Oriental bittersweet plants.

Do trees get killed by oriental bittersweet?

The vigor and size of the vines endangers natural plants at all levels, from the ground to the canopy, posing an ecological threat. Oriental bittersweet bushes can destroy nearby plants and shrubs by casting a heavy layer of shade over them.

According to Oriental bittersweet knowledge, a far worse concern is girdling. The vines can harm even the tallest trees since they girdle the tree and stop its own growth. Even a tree can be uprooted by the weight of the strong vines.

American bittersweet, a native species, is one of the plants that suffer from oriental bittersweet (Celastrus scandens). Through competition and hybridization, this less aggressive vine is being eradicated.

How is Asian bittersweet distributed?

Researchers at the Bent Creek Experimental Forest near Asheville, North Carolina, share insight into the destructive vine’s unusual sit-and-wait approach.

Nonnative Invasive Plants of the Southern Forests: A Field Guide for Identification and Control, by James H. Miller, was released by SRS last summer.

How may American and Oriental bittersweet be distinguished from one another?

While American bittersweet contains orange capsules, Oriental bittersweet has yellow ones. The male flower’s pollen has a different hue than the female blossoms. While American bittersweet has yellow pollen, Oriental bittersweet has white pollen.

Is oriental bittersweet edible by deer?

Ecologists studied deer feeding preferences among different species at the Penn State Deer Research Center by providing them with a multiple-choice selection of eight invasive introduced and seven native plants.

According to a recent study that examined white-tailed deer preferences for seven native and eight invasive plants typically found in the northeastern United States, deer food choices may be fostering the spread of invasive species like garlic mustard, Japanese barberry, and Japanese stiltgrass.

One of the deadliest invaders of forests in the United States over the past 150 years, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest, is the invasive herb garlic mustard. It has displaced native plants and decreased the diversity of species in some regions where it has established itself as the main forest underbrush plant.

Garlic mustard has compounds to protect itself from being eaten, whereas Japanese barberry has spines, which may be why deer avoid eating these plants.

According to study findings, deer favor several introduced invasive plants, such as Morrow’s honeysuckle, Oriental bittersweet, and common privet, as well as some native plants, such red maple and Virginia creeper.

Deer generally preferred native plants among the few species studied for the study, but they avoided the native hay-scented fern, which is regarded as a “invader and is expanding in regions of forest underbrush where deer are also relatively plentiful.

The fact that the results of this study support what we have been observing in the field and show that deer preferences play a significant role in community assembling, according to Averill, is quite enlightening.

Nevertheless, Averill noted that several invasive species that deer appeared to favor are becoming more common in natural settings. This might be because these plants produce fleshy fruits that deer eat, which distribute the plant’s seeds in their excrement.

The Penn State Deer Research Center, which houses a herd of up to 100 deer confined by fences, provided the researchers with captive deer for the study. Eight mature does without fawns were observed by the researchers over three seasons to examine their eating habits (late summer, early autumn and spring). The 15 plant species were displayed in cafeteria-style pots so that deer may choose from all of them at once. The researchers were able to watch and record deer habits thanks to a camera equipped with a motion detector and infrared for nighttime viewing. It was also measured how much of each plant was consumed.

Future research could examine why some preferred invasive species are still so common in the wild and could also involve feeding trials that couple different species to further understand their preferred foods.

According to Averill, “this research is crucial for preserving our forest understories and natural regions.

It enables us to comprehend how invasive plants and deer interact, as well as how deer might exacerbate invasive plant issues.

Researchers from Pennsylvania State University David Mortensen, Erica Smithwick, and Eric Post are coauthors.

Are Asian bittersweet berries consumed by birds?

Close-up of an invasive oriental bittersweet plant. In the late winter, fruit-eating birds are drawn to the reddish-orange berries with their striking yellow capsules, which are dispersed by their droppings. For holiday decorations, people like to gather oriental bittersweet. Small and a third of an inch wide, the berries are abound along the vine.

Some of us take advantage of an antiquated pleasure of living in a community like Westborough that retains a rural aspect despite rapid growth after the leaves have fallen. We go outside to cut bittersweet sprigs for a lovely fall arrangement or even a wreath for the door, but regrettably, we now bring home an invasive plant.

Celastrus orbiculatus, often known as Oriental bittersweet, is now more accessible than ever in the city. Late fall is a beautiful time to see this non-native woody vine’s dazzling crimson berries and their yellow capsules that have opened. Sadly, the vine expands quickly and poses a hazard of outnumbering and outcompeting native species, changing the ecology of the terrain. In 2006, Massachusetts outlawed the sale, propagation, and importation of oriental bittersweet.

When individuals went to harvest a fall bouquet over a century ago, they looked for the similarly related American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens), a local vine. Oriental bittersweet, which arrived in Massachusetts in 1919 after being brought to the U.S. from China about 1860, was absent from our environment. These days, it’s unlikely that you’ll discover American bittersweet in this area.

Oriental bittersweet can be found today growing along “edgesplaceswhere an open area meets the trees. In fields, along roadsides, footpaths, railroad lines, parking lots, and even on our own lawns, development generates margins. These margins are preferred by Asian honeysuckles, multiflora roses, and oriental bittersweet, among many other invasive species.

Look up as you move along an environment’s edge. Oriental bittersweet grows best in the sun and reaches up toward it, wrapping itself firmly around tree trunks and covering other plants, shrubs, and trees in its path.

The vine is currently naked save from those striking red berries and yellow capsules, but in the summer, its green leaves can completely block out anything under them, including the supporting trees or shrubs. The rounded leaves turn yellow in October. From a moving vehicle, it’s simple to see why this vine is sometimes dubbed round-leaf bittersweet due to the abundance of them.

Many of Westborough’s open space grounds include oriental bittersweet, so don’t be shocked if you see it there. It flourishes close to both the Bowman Street entrance to the Bowman Conservation Area and the Andrews Street access to the Headwaters Conservation Area. It’s one of many invasive species that have taken over the fields’ borders at the recently purchased Lee property by the Town.

Volunteers are removing shrubs of oriental bittersweet and Asian honeysuckle from the shoreline and the trail surrounding Gilmore Pond at the Westborough Community Land Trust. Some vines are so thick that volunteers must cut them with a chain saw. Even this does not eradicate oriental bittersweet entirely since it can proliferate by suckers growing from its roots.

What about bittersweet, a native American plant? Did oriental bittersweet contribute to its demise in any way? If so, then human hands were involved. Like most invasive species, oriental bittersweet was introduced to North America by humans. We planted it alongside roadsides and imported it as an ornamental. At the same time, people contributed to the rarity of wild native American bittersweet. How? In Victorian times, too much of it was picked.

The success of oriental bittersweet is a well-known tale that invasive plants frequently reenact. After being removed from its natural habitat and put into a new environment devoid of the diseases, other plants, and animals that kept it in check, the plant became too successful.

For instance, whereas our native white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) browse on native American bittersweet to control its growth, they avoid eating oriental bittersweet. The same is true for cattle and rabbits. However, there is no such fungus here. In Korea, a specific fungus infects Oriental bittersweet, causing the vine to lose its leaves.

Oriental bittersweet may grow in a wider range of lighting conditions than American bittersweet, including both full sun and partial shade. Conservationists are particularly concerned because Oriental bittersweet and American bittersweet can hybridize, potentially displacing native plants.

Of course, both here as in its native China, Japan, and Korea, birds consume the berries of oriental bittersweet. When a portion of a plant is consumed, we often assume that the plant has been injured, however this is not true when birds consume berries. Instead, birds play a significant role in the plant’s success. Typically, the fruit’s seeds are safely digested by birds and quickly disperse over the world. Oriental bittersweet is frequently found in areas with fences, wires, hedges, or low bushes because birds often rest there and drop seeds in their droppings.

While many of our native birds do so in the winter when insects are scarce, not all birds consume fruit. As winter develops, a variety of species, including robins, bluebirds, catbirds, mockingbirds, northern flickers, cedar waxwings, yellow-rumped warblers, and ruffed grouse, devour oriental bittersweet berries. These berries aren’t the first ones that these birds eat because they are poor in fat, but eventually they do.

Ironically, a non-native bird, the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris), which is frequently regarded as an invasive species itself, is a significant consumer of oriental bittersweet berries. Since being brought into Central Park in New York City in 1890–1891, about 100 European starlings have multiplied to become one of the continent’s most common bird species. For nesting space in tree holes, European starlings compete with native birds like bluebirds and woodpeckers.

How can you distinguish invasive oriental bittersweet from native American bittersweet if you’re not sure you’re looking at it? The location of the berries is the most noticeable distinction. Oriental bittersweet berries grow all throughout the vines, whereas American bittersweet berries grow in clusters at the tips of branches (from where leaf stems join the vine). The leaves of American bittersweet are likewise longer and pointier.

Oriental bittersweet has been used to treat bacterial infections and rheumatoid arthritis in traditional Asian medicine. American bittersweet was utilized in various ways by Native Americans. The berries and all other parts of these plants, like many medicinal plants, may be harmful to people.

Do we have to stop collecting oriental bittersweet for our holiday decor? No, not always. Just make sure to properly dispose of it. Put it in a black rubbish bag and dispose of it at a landfill.

Consider using the native Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), which has red foliage and blue berries in the fall, in its place if you decide to remove the oriental bittersweet from your property. Get both male and female plants of American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) if you want to grow it for berries.

The Westborough News publishes Nature Notes on behalf of WCLT (Westborough Community Land Trust).

On the WCLT Facebook page, you can share your own local nature sightings or see what others have observed.

The WCLT website has further details about enjoying nature in Westborough, including trail maps and an events calendar.