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Riverbank Grape (vitis riparia) on Coniferous Trees in Zones 4/5--yea or nay?

 
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I have 50-year old pine / cedar forest spread throughout my outer zones, and riverbank grape vines all over. The vines at the base of the trees are at least 3-4" in diameter and snake up and among the branches (as vines tend to do). The only hardwoods in that bush are a few elms and ash.

I typically have a complete hands-off approach in these zones, and I'm sure some wildlife is reaping benefits from the grapevines...but I'm concerned about the health of the trees. I don't harvest any grapes from these vines (though I'm sure the birds are getting a few at of the forest canopy).

Should I be snipping these giant grapevines at the base during my casual strolls through the bush? They're taking over everything....and I'm not really knowledgable enough to know what this will mean for the succession of the forest. I just want what's best for my bush .

Thanks in advance for your input!!
 
pollinator
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Location: Ontario zone 4b
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Grapes can and will take over really quick i have wild grapes that choked out a few trees in my area. If youre worried about the current state of the forest or see any trees that are damsged choked or week from the grapes just hack it back just know it will come back hard and respond to pruning with vigourous growth the following year just takes some management.
 
Ken Matthews
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Jordan Johnston wrote:Grapes can and will take over really quick i have wild grapes that choked out a few trees in my area. If youre worried about the current state of the forest or see any trees that are damsged choked or week from the grapes just hack it back just know it will come back hard and respond to pruning with vigourous growth the following year just takes some management.



Thanks for the response, Jordan. I'm near Ottawa - we're probably dealing with the same wild grape. It makes the evergreen forest look lusher in the summer, but yes, I think it is choking some trees out.
 
pollinator
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Location: NW California, 1500-1800ft,
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I plan to plant table and wine grapes at the southern side of many of my ponderosa pines, so I would ask why you might favor one species over the other. If they are both native, I’d go for a balance of both species.
 
Ken Matthews
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Ben Zumeta wrote:I plan to plant table and wine grapes at the southern side of many of my ponderosa pines, so I would ask why you might favor one species over the other. If they are both native, I’d go for a balance of both species.



That's exactly the question I'm asking myself and why I haven't cut any already. I guess my main concern is that it will choke out the pines completely, and it might be another century or so before they're replaced with another climax species. These pines / cedars cover 2/3 of my land currently, with a shrub understory. The forest is excellent habitat for deer, coyotes, rabbits, and a lot of other native wildlife. It's also pleasant to look at and walk through. I'm concerned about what sort of landscape the wild grape will leave me with if I allow it unchecked to choke out my current canopy trees. The trees also provide a great windbreak for my zones 1 & 2.
 
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Location: NW Montana, USA
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Ken Matthews wrote:I have 50-year old pine / cedar forest spread throughout my outer zones, and riverbank grape vines all over. The vines at the base of the trees are at least 3-4" in diameter and snake up and among the branches (as vines tend to do). The only hardwoods in that bush are a few elms and ash.

I typically have a complete hands-off approach in these zones, and I'm sure some wildlife is reaping benefits from the grapevines...but I'm concerned about the health of the trees. I don't harvest any grapes from these vines (though I'm sure the birds are getting a few at of the forest canopy).

Should I be snipping these giant grapevines at the base during my casual strolls through the bush? They're taking over everything....and I'm not really knowledgable enough to know what this will mean for the succession of the forest. I just want what's best for my bush .

Thanks in advance for your input!!



Ken!  Would you be willing to sell, trade for, or otherwise send cuttings?  
 
Ken Matthews
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Jen Fan wrote:

Ken Matthews wrote:I have 50-year old pine / cedar forest spread throughout my outer zones, and riverbank grape vines all over. The vines at the base of the trees are at least 3-4" in diameter and snake up and among the branches (as vines tend to do). The only hardwoods in that bush are a few elms and ash.

I typically have a complete hands-off approach in these zones, and I'm sure some wildlife is reaping benefits from the grapevines...but I'm concerned about the health of the trees. I don't harvest any grapes from these vines (though I'm sure the birds are getting a few at of the forest canopy).

Should I be snipping these giant grapevines at the base during my casual strolls through the bush? They're taking over everything....and I'm not really knowledgable enough to know what this will mean for the succession of the forest. I just want what's best for my bush .

Thanks in advance for your input!!



Ken!  Would you be willing to sell, trade for, or otherwise send cuttings?  



Hi Jen! Wow...this is the last thing I expected! But I shouldn't be surprised. I took a load of comfrey off a local woman recently and she looked at me as if I were nuts. Back to your request, let me think on it a bit. I don't have any experience sending cuttings by post, etc. And seeds / plant material sent from Canada to the US? Sounds like it might be problematic. Anyhow, thanks for the interest and I'll get back to you.
 
Jen Fan
pollinator
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Location: NW Montana, USA
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Ken Matthews wrote:

Jen Fan wrote:

Ken Matthews wrote:I have 50-year old pine / cedar forest spread throughout my outer zones, and riverbank grape vines all over. The vines at the base of the trees are at least 3-4" in diameter and snake up and among the branches (as vines tend to do). The only hardwoods in that bush are a few elms and ash.

I typically have a complete hands-off approach in these zones, and I'm sure some wildlife is reaping benefits from the grapevines...but I'm concerned about the health of the trees. I don't harvest any grapes from these vines (though I'm sure the birds are getting a few at of the forest canopy).

Should I be snipping these giant grapevines at the base during my casual strolls through the bush? They're taking over everything....and I'm not really knowledgable enough to know what this will mean for the succession of the forest. I just want what's best for my bush .

Thanks in advance for your input!!



Ken!  Would you be willing to sell, trade for, or otherwise send cuttings?  



Hi Jen! Wow...this is the last thing I expected! But I shouldn't be surprised. I took a load of comfrey off a local woman recently and she looked at me as if I were nuts. Back to your request, let me think on it a bit. I don't have any experience sending cuttings by post, etc. And seeds / plant material sent from Canada to the US? Sounds like it might be problematic. Anyhow, thanks for the interest and I'll get back to you.



Oh dang!  Canada.  Yeah, it's probably not a kosher export.  Where in Canada are you?  I'm 5 hours from the border, the nearest port being Eureka, MT.  I'm not like...  pushing to meet, obviously, especially if it's out of your way.  But if you happen to be a stone's throw away it's worth asking
 
Jen Fan
pollinator
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Location: NW Montana, USA
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We have been trying to find a cold hardy grape for our climate.  We're zone 3 and have struggled to find grapes that might even survive in the greenhouses.  I've got a big pile of "cold hardy" zone 4 rooted cuttings over-wintering in one of the greenhouses right now, not sure any of them will survive.

A super cold hardy wild variety would be awesome!  I read a little about them, this was the first I heard of them, and they seem like a perfectly edible grape?  Am I correct in what I read?
 
Posts: 618
Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
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Jen Fan wrote:We have been trying to find a cold hardy grape for our climate.  We're zone 3 and have struggled to find grapes that might even survive in the greenhouses.  I've got a big pile of "cold hardy" zone 4 rooted cuttings over-wintering in one of the greenhouses right now, not sure any of them will survive.

A super cold hardy wild variety would be awesome!  I read a little about them, this was the first I heard of them, and they seem like a perfectly edible grape?  Am I correct in what I read?

Jen. try king of there north grape. my neighbor has it and its survived without damage to -35f. with no protection. it also ripens a lot earlier than say concord which is also a issue in our short growing season. doubleavinyard sells them.
 
Jen Fan
pollinator
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Location: NW Montana, USA
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steve bossie wrote:

Jen Fan wrote:We have been trying to find a cold hardy grape for our climate.  We're zone 3 and have struggled to find grapes that might even survive in the greenhouses.  I've got a big pile of "cold hardy" zone 4 rooted cuttings over-wintering in one of the greenhouses right now, not sure any of them will survive.

A super cold hardy wild variety would be awesome!  I read a little about them, this was the first I heard of them, and they seem like a perfectly edible grape?  Am I correct in what I read?

Jen. try king of there north grape. my neighbor has it and its survived without damage to -35f. with no protection. it also ripens a lot earlier than say concord which is also a issue in our short growing season. doubleavinyard sells them.



I'm pretty sure I have a few king of the north's in the rooted cuttings I got last fall.  They were rooted out and potted last spring by a relative and had a few leaves on em when I got em.  I also got a pile of rooted cuttings that never got planted, I stuck them in spaghnum moss in the greenhouse.  I have my doubts about them but I will be THRILLED if some make it.  We've had a freaky easy/warm winter.  We've gotten 1/3rd of the snow that we should have and we nevr dropped below 0.  Normally we get a 2 weeks stretch of negative teens, on a normal year.  Hard years can get -40.  So this year was very unusual.  I'm sure all of our fruit trees and shrubs will appreciate though.

Anyway, good to know that KotN has some good reviews  I hope they make it!
 
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Location: Sukhbaatar,Selenge, Mongolia
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We are located in northern Mongolia in what is probably a Zone 2 to 3. We have hot, dry summers and usually cold, dry winters. The summers are ideal for short season grapes, if you can get them to survive the winters. I started growing V. riparia , commonly known as Riverbank Grape, from seed that I got from Saskatchewan. I planted the resulting seedlings outside on the south side of my house and in our greenhouse. In both situations, due to our lack of snow cover, I had to lay the vines down and cover them. The vines started flowering in the 3rd year. Three years ago I got some "Concord" cuttings from Regina, Saskatchewan and I got some Vitis amurensis seed from Russia. It is native to the Amur River valley in Russia and China and reportedly can take -45C temps (with snow cover). The Concords started flowering and fruiting the second year, but again they need cover in the winter. The V. amurensis are growing well inside and outside the greenhouse but also need cover in the winter. Reportedly they start fruiting at around 5 years and they color beautifully in the fall. All three of these varieties would do well in a Zone 4 climate, especially with decent snow cover like you usually have in Ontario. The V. riparia and V. amurensis are both aggressive growers and can take hard pruning.
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