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Frequently (and not so frequently) Asked Questions

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BRIEF: Could you help me identify this vine?


QUESTION:
I live in Nassau county on Long Island. I have an aggressive vine growing in other bushes and plants on my yard. It has five leaves in a cluster, growing at the tip of a soft vine that looks more woody toward the base, but is very soft. It tends to grow to the topmost branches of the host tree or plant and forms a crown of its own. The leaves are dark green and have serrated edges. It grows very quickly. I would be interested in the name of this vine, whether it is poisonous, and some ideas about eradicating it.

ANSWER:

This sounds like Virginia creeper. Pretty inocuous, but ome people get a rash from contact with it. I don't know how to control it. Around here, people slash and burn between their trees, then thin the woods enough to allow grass to grow. This changes the habitat enough to discourage this vine (if one mows regularly).