The Q&A Archives: Invasive Roots Of Celastrus Scandens

Question: I have a fenced backyard about 50' x 60' with lawn, perennials, and some vegetables/herbs. I am thinking of planting an Amer. Bittersweet on the back wooden fence amidst the perennials. How invasive are the roots as far as nearby plants and a tree and is it too heavy for a wooden fence? Thank you.

Answer: Celastrus scandens can be considered an invasive plant, but it's because of the vigorous, rope-like, twining branches, not because of the roots. If you decide to grow American Bittersweet, provide support, and plan to cut out some of the older branches each winter. You can keep it under control and guide it by pinching out the growing tips during the summer months.

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