Tree Rescuers Volunteer Education Program

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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

 
Then
Sign up here
And check out the handbook
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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

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

Wild grape vine and leaves
Wild grape vine and leaves

Older summer grape stems are a rich brown. The shaggy bark peels in long strips (unlike Porcelain Berry, which is more gray and peels in squares)

press to zoom
Summer Grape bark - shaggy and peeling
Summer Grape bark - shaggy and peeling

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Poison ivy flowers
Poison ivy flowers

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Wild grape vine and leaves
Wild grape vine and leaves

Older summer grape stems are a rich brown. The shaggy bark peels in long strips (unlike Porcelain Berry, which is more gray and peels in squares)

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Natives less commonly

seen in the wild

Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata)
Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata)

An excellent vine for the garden

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Crossvine
Crossvine

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Native Wisteria frutescens
Native Wisteria frutescens

The flowers are smaller and more compact than Asian Wisteria. The seed pods are smooth, whereas Asian seed pods are fuzzy.

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Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata)
Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata)

An excellent vine for the garden

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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 treerescuers@gmail.com.

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:

6000 rescues by 12/2022

Residential Properties

  • 789 alerted

  • 3675 trees at risk

Non-residential

  • 3184 acres surveyed

  • 25942 trees at risk

Since Sept. '2021, as of 11/15/2022

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Oriental Bittersweet vines

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