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ALERT
Identify and Control
Oriental Bittersweet
Oriental bittersweet showing golden leaves.
Oriental bittersweet fruits beginning to open.
Photos: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org, Ansel Oommen, Bugwood.org

Scout and Control Now!


Now is one of the best times to find the invasive vine, Celastrus orbiculatus or Oriental bittersweet, on your property.

In the fall, the vines stand out and the fruit is bright.
 
 

IDENTIFICATION TIPS

 
If unsure whether or not you have Oriental bittersweet on your property, identifying it is easier during this time of year. If you have been removing bittersweet, this is also a great time to see plants you may have been missed.

Golden Leaf Color: In the fall, Oriental bittersweet develops a golden leaf color.

Persistent Vegetation: Oriental bittersweet will still have some yellow or green leaves present well into the fall. This vine will stand out in the landscape and be highly visible until its leaves drop.

Bright Red Fruit: Look for showy fruits in the fall (and into the winter). The round yellow capsules are situated in clusters at most leaf axils (along the stem where the leaves attach). The capsules split open revealing bright red fleshy arils which contain the seeds.  

Download our Oriental bittersweet FACTSHEET for more information.
American bittersweet (a Virginia native vine) looks similar to Oriental bittersweet. You can distinguish them by examining the location of fruits. In American bittersweet, these occur as larger clusters at the tips of the branches. In Oriental bittersweet, they are along the stems.
Photo from Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

CONTROL

 
To ensure long-term control of Oriental bittersweet, monitor treated sites for several years for seedlings and regrowth from roots. Treat these as soon as possible.

Manual: Hand pull small seedlings and vines being sure to remove the crown and all large roots. Do not pull vines from trees; this is hazardous to people on the ground and can damage the trees.

Cut Stump: Cut small to large vines near ground level using a hand pruner, hand-saw, or chainsaw. Immediately apply a concentrated herbicide to the cut stump to prevent resprouting. 

Foliar Spray: Low bushy vines or resprouted vines can be treated with a foliar herbicide spray spring through fall. You should avoid spraying large vines overhead (best to cut stump these). To avoid harming desirable plants, apply foliar spray when other plants are leafless in late fall, but while bittersweet leaves are still green.


See
Virginia Department of Forestry Guidelines for specific herbicide recommendations.
Oriental bittersweet fruit showing yellow capsule and red fleshy arils.
Photo: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Event Reminder

 
Oct 21 from 1:00 - 4:00pm - PRISM Quarterly Meeting featuring guest speakers talking about the Spotted Lanternfly, giving a Forest Health Update, and a Wavyleaf Grass Control Update. This event is free, but please register for the Zoom link.

Oct 22 from 1:00 - 4:00 - PRISM Workshop on Invasive Plants.  Cost $10.00 
Register 
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Blue Ridge PRISM Inc
PO Box 119
White Hall VA 22987

www.blueridgeprism.org
info@blueridgeprism.org