vines be gone

We are making progress on removing the vines from the side of the house in preparation for the new roof!

My first reaction when we saw the vines was, “kill it with fire!” but since we can’t use bluebell flames (or Lumos Solem, if we’re talking movies) on these, we’re going old school with loppers, pruners, and a hand saw.

As you can see here, they were pretty out of control (this pic is from a previous year but the growth is not too different):
realtor 23

I was super surprised at, for the most part, how easily the vines came off! I started snipping really carefully, but then K just started grabbing and pulling and – to my (happy) surprise – they came off without a huge amount of hassle and they didn’t bring any chunks of mortar with them. Some of the roots were formed into the shape of the bricks they were on – there were little square shapes where they went along the mortar lines (but thankfully did not invade the mortar).

Vine removal day one

I recognize most of these vines as some variety of wintercreeper (Euonymous) – the same plant I used to cover the ugly metal back fence at our home downstate! Its aggressive vertical climbing and clinging habit was great for that setting, but definitely not ideal for use on a structure like a house. Part of the vines are something else, though – the section on the left hand side are something that has much thicker trunk/stem, some of which is nestled tightly into the corner where the kitchen nook juts off the back of the house (just to the left of the electrical box). K successfully sawed through the thickest part so that the upper part is now completely severed from the roots. Hopefully both parts will die a bit and make it easier to get it off the brick!

vines on house

We don’t have a ladder yet (had one, but it’s still in storage and won’t fit in our cars, so it will have to wait or just not come back – a new ladder is on order and should arrive soon) but there’s only a bit of stuff left that we’ll be able to get down once it’s here. So far only one of the screens was significantly infested with vine roots and we’ve had that fixed, so we can now open any of the first-floor windows and get a nice breeze going. Which will be important, since we move in less than a week and there’s no central air (yet – someday)!

vines mostly cleared away

We now have some big piles of branches that I need to trim and stack, but it’s been super rainy so I haven’t gotten to it yet. I did take advantage of the wet weather to pull out the roots of the vines, so I need to figure out some mulch or something for that area so it doesn’t sprout a million weeds.

vines somewhat cleared away

I also need to figure out a plan for what we want to grow in this area – I’m thinking maybe we can borrow some Pachysandra sprouts from my folks, since they have a lot of it and it won’t grow too tall or climb. This area may prove to be too sunny for it – but we’ll have to wait and see.