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Dangerous Vine May Attack Somers, Land Trust Says

SOMERS, N.Y. – A new horticultural threat, commonly known as the Mile-A-Minute Vine may invade the Somers area, warns the Somers Land Trust.

The vine, which can grow up to 6 inches a day, according to the National Park Service’s Plant Conservation Alliance, actually is a weed that originated in the Far East and accidentally was introduced to North America in the 1930s.

It is a trailing vine, with light green triangular leaves and delicate stems. It may develop small, white flowers and clusters of deep blue berries. Its seeds often are carried along waterways and are attractive to birds, while the fruits are enjoyed by chipmunks, squirrels and deer.

In addition to its propensity to overtake your garden, it can smother young plants and trees and climb over grown vegetation, blocking its access to light.

The weed is difficult to control but does respond to certain herbicides, both those applied in the early spring and those applied to existing growth.

You can pull out the seedlings manually before they take hold. Try to pull up the entire plant including the root. Reel up the vine wearing garden gloves, and set it aside for a few days to desiccate further. The Cornell Extension Service recommends you then put the weeds in a bag and dispose of the bag with your regular garbage. Do not put the weed in your compost heap, as it will try to take over.

If you do happen to come across the Mile-A-Minute Vine either at home or elsewhere around town, the Somers Land Trust asks to be informed. Send an email with the location to info@somerslandtrust.org .

For more information about the Mile-A-Minute Vine, go to www.nps.gov/plants/alien .

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