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Tree Rescuers Volunteer Education Program

Join our Northern Virginia program of community volunteers
to help save our native trees from invasive non-native vines!

Please note: This is a public education program to inspire others to control invasive vines. To volunteer to do the actual vine removal, please see this page.

Interested? Watch a video

Sign up here
And check out the handbook
Orange flag png

Does it make you sad to see trees smothered by vines?

You can do something about it!

This is a very easy volunteer opportunity. All you need to do (after watching the video and reading the instructions) is

  1. Walk around counting trees at risk from invasive vines

  2. Drop off door hangers (which we will mail you) for the landowners to alert them to the problem

  3. Report back to us


Note: you do not need to be able to ID vines to do this. You will easily recognize English Ivy, and if a vine is twisted round and round a tree, it is almost certainly an invasive species, as our natives don't behave like that. If its leaves are blanketing a tree, it could be invasive or native, but in a residential neighborhood it is likely to be invasive. You can just drop off the door hanger and let the homeowner figure it out.


See the Tree Rescuers Handbook for complete instructions

Invasive Porcelain Berry by Margaret Fisher.jpg

Trees smothered by Porcelain Berry

What if you want to also help clip invasive vines?

There are many organizations that need volunteers to do this. These groups are well set up to train you and ensure safety. Events take place year round and always need more help. In many situations you may work independently on your own schedule as well once you are on-boarded. See the list here.

Note: Don't cut the native vines!

Our native vines seldom injure trees and are an important food source for birds.

Look carefully before you cut!

Natives commonly

seen in the wild

Natives less commonly

seen in the wild


How to ID invasive vines (and one climbing shrub)

Click on each photo to go directly to the plant, or click here to view all the species.

Within each species link, click on the photos to enlarge them.

Need a cheat sheet? The text below is summarized on this page that you can print and carry with you. And here is a longer version.

Need more help? We might be able to tell what the vine is from photos, if they are detailed enough. Send well-focused, original size photos of the plant as a whole and closeups of leaves, stems, flowers, berries - whatever is on the vine at that time - to

In person training events are held perioidically by various groups. Check our calendar for details.

AT wisteria.jpg
AT Engish IVY.jpg
AT Akebia.jpg
AT honeysuckle.jpg
AT hops.jpg
AT kudzu.jpg
AT mile a minute.jpg
AT rose.jpg
AT bittersweet.jpg
AT Porcelain.jpg
AT clematis.jpg
AT wintercreeper.jpg

Our goal:

14000 rescues by 12/2023

Major roads

134 miles surveyed so far

9375 trees at risk


Residential properties surveyed

  • 1188 alerted

  • 5435 trees at risk

Non-residential areas

  • 5506 acres surveyed

  • 39132 trees at risk

As of 3/13/2023 (and since Sept. 2021)


Oriental Bittersweet vines

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