any deliberately created a "vine tree"?

davidrt28 (zone 7)May 1, 2014

OOPS. meant ANYONE. this is what happens when you try to multitask too much. Why can't we edit titles!?

I have an old Abies concolor in my yard that is in the final stages of decline. It's a very, very unusual tree to see in the coastal plain of Maryland. The summers of 2010, 2011, and 2012, which had hot droughty spells alternating with periods of extremely heavy rainfall, really did a number of it. The canopy is almost completely bare now....It's about 35' high but probably has the same amt. of live foliage as a 6' healthy plant. If this spring is a harbinger of this summer - cool and very wet - it will not last much longer.

Instead of just cutting the carcass down, I'm seriously considering letting a fast growing vine take it over. Yes, I know this will not last forever. No, it is not in a place where it could fall on anything that matters. (except other plants) I'm thinking: plant a Bignonia capreolata under it, give it about 3-4 years to overtake the tree entirely, give it another couple years to look wild and crazy, then finally cut it down if it doesn't fall first. Am I not thinking this through enough? I have old dead Prunus serotina trunks that have lasted 7-8 years now and are covered in ivy (just the lower 8 feet or so...I had my tree cutter leave them because an agricultural fence used to be nailed into the bottom of the trunk.). It's in a lawn setting so I won't have to worry about the vine spreading by runners, and as for seeds, the nearest bed is about 40 ft. away. Quite honestly, if I saw something like that in most any garden...I'd think "what are they thinking, that's trashy looking" but suddenly this seems like a good idea. I really need the shade it provides for some shrubs that are nearby. And it's kind of in the center of my yard and I feel like I'd rather have it transmogrified than absent.

BTW have tried grafting one of the surviving branchlets onto Abies firma, just to preserve the clone for 'old time's sake'. Maybe I'm being optimistic but I think the buds on the scion are swelling after about a month, so maybe I finally have figured out how to graft.

This post was edited by davidrt28 on Thu, May 1, 14 at 22:32

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I know it can be done with some but I'm not quite sure if you can with all woody vines.

I managed to do a good job on a shiro naga wisteria for a few years until it froze back hard. I just trimmed all the lower branches and pruned it back hard in the spring. usually to like 5 buds per main branch.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 2:23AM
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my problem with cross vine is that they are in and out of bloom so quickly.
campsis will establish more quickly and have a longer period of bloom. I'm sure that many here have noticed the sound barriers along the major roads when they are covered with blooming campsis, quite beautiful.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 1:05PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

Yes, but supposedly Bignonia is a little less weedy.
Also thinking about one of the native wisterias, although the tradeoff there is they don't seem as showy as the Asian ones.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 5:19PM
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viburnumvalley(z5/6 KY)

Lonicera sempervirens clones - grow really fast, bloom repeatedly all season long, don't stray from their original position (except by layering).

I like the idea. Leaving a (dead) tree is known ecologically as a snag. Cavity nesting birds will enjoy having the trunk to peck on and live in.

Please provide imagery, regardless of what vine you choose.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 11:00PM
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