The Q&A Archives: Morning Glories

Question: I have two Morning Glory vines growing up a Kwansan Cherry Tree. The tree was just planted this Spring and is about 11 feet tall. The vines have reached the top of the tree but are not flowering yet. Can the vines strangle and kill or harm the Cherry Tree?

Answer: Newly planted trees benefit from a minimum of root competition, so planting anything right around them is probably not a good idea for the first few years. Vines in particular can cause problems because they are heavy and can act like a sail in windy conditions causing extra stress on a young trunk and newly establishing root system; they also compete with the tree canopy for light and air. In your case, the Kwansan was apparently large enough to withstand the competition, but a smaller or less vigorous type of tree might not have been. Even though it is late in the season I would probably remove the vines because they will continue growing vigorously until frost; the tree will also continue pulling water and storing nutrients throughout the fall and will need all the resources it can get to come out of winter and go into spring in the best condition possible.

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