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I have old cottonwoods in my yard. Vines are growing up about 5-6 feet on them (honeysuckle, ivy or virginia creeper) They are dying about on a year for the past 4 years and I lost another one this summer. Are the vines killing them or could it be the age of the trees?

Answer(s)

A

Vines could possibly harm trees in two ways.  First, they may grow up into the canopy of the tree and crowd out the tree leaves.  This would reduce the amount of photosynthesis taking place in the tree.  The second way that vines could harm trees is that their roots may be competing with the tree roots for both water and nutrients. 

The age of the trees may also be a factor.  Cottonwood trees are not relatively long lived.  They usually get only 50 to 70 years old under the best of conditions. 

Posted on 1 Oct 2008

Heidi Wayman
Horticulture Intern, Salt Lake County

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