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New Yorkers Prepare to Battle a Tree-Killing Vine

New Yorkers Prepare to Battle a Destructive Tree-Killing Vine

New Yorkers Prepare to Battle a Destructive Tree-Killing Vine Anita363, flickr

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Environmentalists say vine has a chokehold on Westchester trees.

A Yonkers environmental group is going to battle with something that could be described as straight out of a science-fiction movie.

Environmentalists and volunteers will fan out along a stretch of the Saw Mill River Parkway this weekend, to cut away invasive Oriental bittersweet vines from neighboring trees.
 
The vines "root right next to trees and suck up a lot of the water that the trees need to live," said Emily Eder, Deputy Program Director of Groundwork Hudson Valley. "They also grow all the way up to the tops of trees and create a cloak over the top of them, which deprives the trees of the sunlight that they need to live."
 
Westchester County Ecologist Jeff Main says that the fast-growing vines and subsequent dead trees can lead to problems on the Parkway. "When dead trees fall into the river they create a tree debris dam that backs the river up and that eventually leads to flooding." Efforts to remove the vines first began over seven years ago.