Oh how we all love this pretty orange/red bittersweet vine in the Fall. It's so pretty for decorating!
BUT....it's really nasty stuff! The vines grow fast and furious and will twist and twine around everything.
I don't know where it came from, but we have it growing all over our property and it's viciously taking over.
Hubby and I spent 5 days this past week working on clearing it out.
The main problem is down at the bottom of our property, close to the road. This is a picture of it after I had already removed about 15 feet of it.
It's so difficult to remove too. Since they are all thin vines twisted together, each stem has to be individually cut. Then I have to build up the strength of 10 men to pull on the vine in the attempt to unwind it from all of the rest of the mess.
Think of it as a giant oversized clump of DMC floss. Imagine trying to unravel the strands of floss from a jungled mess and you can slightly understand how evil this bittersweet vine is to remove.
I had started working on it the first day. After hubby saw my struggles, he joined me in the battle.
We cleared out enough of it to expose some of the main roots....
Then he got his Bobcat out...
Now let me tell you.... He's had this Bobcat forever. Years and years it's been around and finally, after all of these years, he taught me how to use it.
Yes indeed, I climbed into that seat and powered it up and I operated that monster machine like a true master! Haha...actually, I was very scared but once I got used to it, wow! I felt so powerful.
It might just be my new toy to play with this summer!
Anyway, that Bobcat really helped.
We cleared out most of it. There's still quite a bit yet to do and I hope to get it done this week.
The entire jungled mess was probably a good 20 feet across and a good 10 feet wide so after 4 days working on it, we're both muscle sore.
We unloaded it all up by my husband's garage and he set it afire. It was gone within a matter of an hour.
(yes, we're permitted to burn here in Daugherty Twp)
Next, I have to work on the tree that's beside it. It's actually a dead Ash tree but the vine is so twisted up and around it, the Bittersweet is virtually responsible for holding up the dead tree.
So with the benefits of the vine giving us pretty berries in the fall, the vines, if left alone to grow for years and years can become very interesting to look at too...
This is how the Bittersweet vine looks along the edge of our woods, close to our driveway.
The vines look like giant twisted ropes.
This actually looks like a huge snake wrapped around a tree...but no..it's the evil Bittersweet vine doing it's thing.
I plan to get hubby to use his chainsaw to cut the twisted parts out. I'll use them in my garden for decorations.
So yes, Bittersweet is a good name for this awful vine. It's more bitter than sweet because it's taken over a lot of our trees and making a jungled mess but the sweet part is the pretty berries on the vines in the fall and also the amazing art that those big twisted vines create.
Today and tomorrow, we shall rest our sore muscles and then Monday, as long as the day is bright, we shall go back to our battle with the Bittersweet!
Have a wonderful weekend!
God Bless and be kind!